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

Let’s examine these issues and how much they might cost to fix, so you’ll have some idea before you contact an HVAC technician. Some of the most likely 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 painless as fixing a thermostat setting or swapping your air filter.

Here’s what to check:

  • Is your thermostat on the right 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 higher than the current temperature. If you have 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 lacks power. Reset the matching breaker if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the air filter blocked? 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 fix the issue, you’ll need to contact a heating and cooling company like ACE Solutions.

Estimated Repair Cost

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

2. Heat Pump Stays On Constantly

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 operating 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 running 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 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 controls 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 difficult it is.

3. Heat Pump Can’t Remove Ice Buildup

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

Here are several reasons why this might be happening:

  • Your heat pump doesn’t have enough airflow because it’s obstructed by snow, bushes or yard waste.
  • Your gutters are dripping water on top of your heat pump, creating an icy buildup.
  • A part is not working, which may consist of 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 discover a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor near the outdoor unit.

Estimated Repair Cost

Like we talked about 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 degree 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 made.

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 issues. We advise 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 discussed 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 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 Malfunctions After Upgrading the Thermostat

If your heat pump won’t turn on after altering 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 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 start in your air handler, there’s probably an issue with the thermostat.

A couple other common thermostat problems involve:

  • 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 professional 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 kind of thermostat you want. While programmable thermostats are less expensive, they lack 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 help of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is tricky to reach since it’s placed 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 problem.

  • 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 pricier since it’s no longer being made.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

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

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be irritating, but not when you get in touch with ACE Solutions. Our experts have been supplying the quality, affordable heat pump repair Hasbrouck Heights homeowners have depended on since 2014. Contact us at 201-579-2562 to get your free estimate now.

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