Your heat pump is an crucial part of your home because it provides year-round comfort. But, like any home comfort system, it’s certain to experience some issues once in a while.

Let’s review these troubles and how much they might cost to fix, so you’ll have some idea before you call an HVAC technician. Some of the most common 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 Can’t Start

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 simple as fixing a thermostat setting or replacing your air filter.

Here’s what to check:

  • Is your thermostat on the proper setting? If you want air conditioning, 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 use a programmable thermostat, put in new the batteries if the screen looks jumbled or blank.
  • Has the circuit breaker been tripped? Your heat pump won’t be able to operate if it doesn’t have power. Reset the appropriate 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 replace it.

If these steps don’t fix the issue, you’ll need to call a heating and cooling company like Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning.

Estimated Repair Cost

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

2. Heat Pump Won’t Turn Off

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

If the weather is normal, check that your thermostat is set correctly and running normally. If the fan setting is at “on,” the blower motor on your air handler will run 24/7. So, it’ll appear as though your heat pump is working all the time. Constantly running the blower can keep humidity levels under control, but it’ll also drive up your electrical bills.

If your thermostat is set properly, there are several other issues 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 Isn’t Defrosting

Occasionally during cold weather, your heat pump will briefly go into cooling mode. This will melt light frost and ice that normally accumulates on the coils. A heat pump that becomes heavily iced over may struggle to heat your home or shut down completely.

Here are a few reasons why this might be happening:

  • Your heat pump doesn’t have enough airflow because it’s obstructed by snow, bushes or yard debris.
  • Your gutters are leaking water on top of your heat pump, causing an icy buildup.
  • A part is malfunctioning, 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 sounds. Or if you find a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor around the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we mentioned 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 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 uses. R-22 Freon is more expensive since it’s no longer being produced.

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 connected to many troubles. We suggest checking for:

  • Correct 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 help 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 an issue 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 type of refrigerant your heat pump uses. R-22 Freon is more expensive since it’s no longer being manufactured.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Has Trouble Turning On After A Thermostat Change

If your heat pump won’t turn on after altering the thermostat, the problem is probably linked 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 have backup or emergency heating.

You can test your new thermostat by switching 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 involve:

  • Wiring was done incorrectly.
  • 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 stay away from any compatibility or wiring issues.

Estimated Repair Costs

The cost of professional thermostat installation depends greatly on what kind of thermostat you want. While programmable thermostats are less expensive, they are missing the sophisticated features and convenience of a smart thermostat.

6. Heat Pump Can’t Work in Heating Mode

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

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

An icy heat pump or leaky ductwork will require the assistance of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is hard to reach since it’s located behind walls and numerous 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 level 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 produced.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

Resolve All Heat Pump Problems Right Away with Help from Local Experts

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be irritating, but not when you get in touch with Evenaire Heating & Air Conditioning. Our experts have been providing the quality, affordable heat pump repair Pflugerville homeowners have depended on since 2009. Get in touch with us at 512-355-1482 to secure your free estimate now.

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