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

Let’s go over these problems and how much they might cost to repair, 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 Won’t Turn 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 painless as restoring a thermostat setting or replacing your air filter.

Here’s what to check:

  • Is your thermostat on the correct 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 heating, it should be set to “heat,” “auto” and your setting should be higher 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 operate if it does not 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 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 contact a heating and cooling company like Done Right Air.

Estimated Repair Cost

This problem can be complex, so how much it costs to correct 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 operate longer than normal to achieve your desired temperature.

If the weather is typical, 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 go 24/7. So, it’ll sound like your heat pump is working all the time. Constantly running 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 linked to a few issues, so your heat pump repair cost will depend on the problem and how difficult 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 totally frozen 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, 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 possible if you’re hearing bubbling or hissing sounds. Or if you notice a sweet, formaldehyde-like odor near 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 number 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 pricier since it’s no longer being produced.

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 linked to many problems. We recommend checking for:

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

If there’s nothing awry 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 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 expense 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 manufactured.
  • 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 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 test 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 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 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 connected to similar problems with a heat pump that won’t cool. We suggest 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 assistance of an HVAC technician. Ductwork is tricky to reach since it’s placed behind walls and several 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 magnitude 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 runs on. R-22 Freon is higher priced since it’s no longer being made.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

Take Care of Your Heat Pump Problems Right Away with Our Help

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be annoying, but not when you call Done Right Air. Our pros have been providing the quality, affordable heat pump repair Milwaukee homeowners have depended on since 2011. Get in touch with us at 414-207-4034 to secure your free estimate now.

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