Your heat pump is an important part of your home because it provides year-round comfort. But, like any home comfort system, it’s certain to experience some issues every now and then.

Let’s review these troubles and how much they might cost to fix, so you’ll have some idea before you contact 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 Isn’t Turning On

There are lots of reasons why your heat pump won’t turn on, so we suggest checking all of them. Sometimes they are as painless as fixing a thermostat setting or changing your air filter.

Here’s what to check:

  • Is your thermostat on the proper setting? If you want cooling, 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 higher than the current temperature. If you have 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 corresponding breaker if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the air filter dirty? A dirty air filter is problematic for your heat pump. If you can’t see light through it, it’s time to replace it.

If these steps don’t correct the problem, you’ll need to call a heating and cooling company like H&C Heating and Cooling.

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 extremely hot or cold outside, your heat pump may need to operate longer than normal to reach your desired temperature.

If the weather is normal, check that your thermostat is set correctly and operating 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 running the blower can keep humidity levels in check, but it’ll also increase your electrical bills.

If your thermostat is set properly, there are a few 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 controls the flow of electricity.
  • Leaky ductwork.

Estimated Repair Cost

This can be linked to many 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 heavily iced over may have difficulty heating your home or shut down altogether.

Here are a few reasons why this might be happening:

  • 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, producing 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 discover a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor close to the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we talked about before, there are a few 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 degree 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.

4. Heat Pump Can’t Produce Cool Air

Just like a heat pump that won’t turn on, a heat pump that won’t cool can be associated to many issues. We suggest checking for:

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

If there’s nothing faulty with your thermostat, circuit breakers or air filter, you’ll need help 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 charge may vary based on your heat pump brand, model and the scope of the concern.

  • 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 manufactured.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

5. Heat Pump Isn’t Starting After Upgrading the Thermostat

If your heat pump won’t turn on after altering the thermostat, the problem is probably tied 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 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 include:

  • Wiring was done incorrectly.
  • Thermostat isn’t communicating 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 problems.

Estimated Repair Costs

The cost of professional thermostat installation depends considerably on what type of thermostat you want. While programmable thermostats are less expensive, they are missing the advanced 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 recommend checking for:

  • Appropriate 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 tricky to reach since it’s found behind walls and multiple issues can cause your heat pump to freeze up.

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 type 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.

Take Care of All Heat Pump Problems Quickly and Affordably with Help from Local Experts

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be irritating, but not when you contact H&C Heating and Cooling. Our pros have been providing the quality, affordable heat pump repair Laurel homeowners have relied on since 1969. Call us at 301-960-3247 to get your free estimate now.

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