Your heat pump is an essential part of your home because it produces year-round comfort. But, like any home comfort system, it’s likely to encounter some problems every now and then.

Let’s examine these troubles and how much they might cost to repair, so you’ll have some idea before you call an HVAC technician. Some of the most typical heat pump repair problems include:

  • Heat pump won’t turn on
  • Heat pump won’t turn off
  • Heat pump won’t defrost
  • Heat pump won’t cool
  • Heat pump won’t turn on after changing thermostat
  • Heat pump won’t heat

1. Heat Pump Isn’t Turning On

There are a lot of reasons why your heat pump won’t turn on, so we recommend checking all of them. Sometimes they are as easy as correcting a thermostat setting or swapping your air filter.

Here’s what to check:

  • Is your thermostat on the right setting? If you want cooling, make sure it’s set to “cool,” “auto” and that your setting is lower than the current temperature. If you want heating, it should be set to “heat,” “auto” and your setting should be greater than the current temperature. If you have a programmable thermostat, replace the batteries if the screen looks jumbled or blank.
  • Has the circuit breaker been tripped? Your heat pump won’t be able to turn on if it doesn’t have power. Reset the matching breaker if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the air filter dirty? A dirty air filter is difficult for your heat pump. If you can’t see light through it, it’s time to get a new one.

If these steps don’t fix the issue, you’ll need to call a heating and cooling company like Ohler & Holzhauer Inc..

Estimated Repair Cost

This issue can be complex, so how much it costs to correct it will depend on what’s wrong.

2. Heat Pump Isn’t Shutting Off

If it’s extremely hot or cold outside, your heat pump may need to run longer than normal to achieve your desired temperature.

If the weather is typical, check that your thermostat is set properly and running normally. If the fan setting is at “on,” the blower motor on your air handler will go 24/7. So, it’ll sound like your heat pump is working all the time. Constantly using the blower can keep humidity levels in check, but it’ll also drive up your electrical bills.

If your thermostat is set correctly, there are a few other problems that could be causing your heat pump to run all the time. They include:

  • A new thermostat that isn’t appropriate for your heat pump.
  • A malfunctioning compressor contactor, which regulates the flow of electricity.
  • Leaky ductwork.

Estimated Repair Cost

This can be connected to a lot of issues, so your heat pump repair cost will depend on the problem and how elaborate it is.

3. Heat Pump Can’t Remove Ice Buildup

Occasionally during cold weather, your heat pump will temporarily go into cooling mode. This will melt light frost and ice that naturally accumulates on the coils. A heat pump that becomes totally frozen may struggle to heat your home or shut down altogether.

Here are a few reasons why this might be happening:

  • Your heat pump doesn’t have sufficient airflow because it’s obstructed by snow, bushes or yard debris.
  • Your gutters are leaking water on top of your heat pump, creating an icy buildup.
  • A part is not working, which may include the reversing valve, relays, controls or sensors.
  • The outdoor fan motor is damaged, dying or dead.
  • Your heat pump has a refrigerant leak. This is possible if you’re hearing bubbling or hissing noises. Or if you notice a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor near the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we discussed before, there are a lot of reasons why your heat pump won’t defrost. But here are a few estimated costs for some of these issues. Keep in mind your cost may vary based on your heat pump brand, model and the severity of the problem.

  • Replace reversing valve: $200–$600
  • Replace outdoor fan motor: $250–$650
  • Repair refrigerant leak: Depends on the type of refrigerant your heat pump uses. R-22 Freon is more expensive since it’s no longer being made.

4. Heat Pump Won’t Cool

Just like a heat pump that won’t turn on, a heat pump that won’t cool can be linked to many problems. We advise checking for:

  • Ideal thermostat settings
  • Tripped circuit breakers
  • A dirty air filter
  • Ice on your heat pump

If there’s nothing wrong with your thermostat, circuit breakers or air filter, you’ll need assistance from an HVAC technician to identify a problem with your ductwork or an iced-over heat pump. Like we reviewed earlier, a heat pump that won’t defrost might have a problem with its reversing valve, outdoor fan motor or a refrigerant leak.

Estimated Repair Costs

These repair costs are estimates. Your total cost may vary based on your heat pump brand, model and the severity of the issue.

  • Replace reversing valve: $200–$600
  • Replace outdoor fan motor: $250–$650
  • Repair refrigerant leak: Depends on the kind of refrigerant your heat pump uses. R-22 Freon is pricier since it’s no longer being produced.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Won’t Turn On After Upgrading the Thermostat

If your heat pump won’t turn on after switching the thermostat, the problem is probably tied to your new thermostat. While you can install just about any thermostat with a furnace, the same isn’t true for heat pumps, especially if you need backup or emergency heating.

You can check your new thermostat by changing the fan mode to “on.” If you don’t hear the blower motor running in your air handler, there’s probably an issue with the thermostat.

A couple other typical thermostat problems include:

  • Wiring was done wrong.
  • Thermostat isn’t interacting with heat pump.
  • Thermostat is in emergency heat mode, which requires a reset.

It’s recommended to have a heating and cooling pro recommend a thermostat and expertly install it. That way, you’ll avoid any compatibility or wiring issues.

Estimated Repair Costs

The cost of professional thermostat installation depends greatly on what type of thermostat you want. While programmable thermostats are cheaper, they are missing the advanced features and convenience of a smart thermostat.

6. Heat Pump Won’t Heat

A heat pump that won’t heat is connected to similar problems with a heat pump that won’t cool. We recommend checking for:

  • Appropriate thermostat settings
  • Tripped circuit breakers
  • A dirty air filter
  • Ice on your heat pump

An icy heat pump or leaky ductwork will require the help of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is hard to reach since it’s placed behind walls and multiple issues can cause your heat pump to ice over.

Estimated Repair Costs

These repair costs are estimates. Your total cost may vary based on your heat pump brand, model and the extent of the issue.

  • Replace reversing valve: $200–$600
  • Replace outdoor fan motor: $250–$650
  • Repair refrigerant leak: Depends on the kind of refrigerant your heat pump runs on. R-22 Freon is more expensive since it’s no longer being made.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

Fix Any Heat Pump Problems Right Away with Help from Local Experts

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be annoying, but not when you contact Ohler & Holzhauer Inc.. Our professionals have been delivering the quality, affordable heat pump repair Port Clinton homeowners have depended on since 1915. Call us at 419-465-8722 to get your free estimate now.

Average repair costs are sourced from Fixr, which compiles estimates based on nationwide averages.