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 have some issues every now and then.

Let’s go over these problems and how much they might cost to fix, 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 plenty of reasons why your heat pump won’t turn on, so we suggest checking all of them. Sometimes they are as simple as correcting a thermostat setting or swapping 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 ambient temperature. If you want heat, 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 appears jumbled or blank.
  • Has the circuit breaker been tripped? Your heat pump won’t be able to run if it doesn’t have power. Reset the appropriate breaker if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the air filter blocked? A dirty air filter is troublesome 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 correct the issue, you’ll need to call a heating and cooling company like Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling.

Estimated Repair Cost

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

2. Heat Pump Stays On Constantly

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 normal, 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 appear as though your heat pump is running 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 properly, 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 compatible with your heat pump.
  • A malfunctioning compressor contactor, which regulates the flow of electricity.
  • Leaky ductwork.

Estimated Repair Cost

This can be connected to many issues, so your heat pump repair cost will depend on the problem and how complex 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 dissolve light frost and ice that normally builds up on the coils. A heat pump that becomes heavily iced over may have difficulty heating your home or shut down altogether.

Here are several reasons why this might be taking place:

  • Your heat pump doesn’t have enough airflow because it’s blocked by snow, bushes or yard waste.
  • Your gutters are leaking water on top of your heat pump, causing an icy buildup.
  • A part is not working, which may involve 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 likely if you’re hearing bubbling or hissing noises. Or if you discover a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor near the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we mentioned before, there are many reasons why your heat pump won’t defrost. But here are several 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 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 higher priced since it’s no longer being produced.

4. Heat Pump Isn’t Cooling

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

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

If there’s nothing awry with your thermostat, circuit breakers or air filter, you’ll need assistance from an HVAC technician to diagnose a problem with your ductwork or an iced-over heat pump. Like we discussed 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 scope 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 pricier since it’s no longer being produced.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Isn’t Starting After A Thermostat Change

If your heat pump won’t turn on after changing the thermostat, the problem is probably connected to your new thermostat. While you can use 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 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 common thermostat problems include:

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

It’s wise 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 considerably on what kind of thermostat you want. While programmable thermostats are cheaper, they are missing the sophisticated features and convenience of a smart thermostat.

6. Heat Pump Isn’t Generating Heat

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

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

An icy heat pump or leaky ductwork will require the assistance of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is difficult to reach since it’s found 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 magnitude 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 made.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

Fix Any Heat Pump Problems Quickly and Affordably with Our Help

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be annoying, but not when you call Temperature Doctors Heating & Cooling. Our experts have been providing the quality, affordable heat pump repair Rockford homeowners have depended on since 2006. Get in touch with us at (815) 914-6197 to request your free estimate now.

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