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

Let’s examine these issues and how much they might cost to repair, so you’ll have some idea before you call 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 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 easy 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 heat, it should be set to “heat,” “auto” and your setting should be higher than the current temperature. If you use a programmable thermostat, replace the batteries if the screen appears jumbled or blank.
  • Has the circuit breaker been tripped? Your heat pump won’t be able to turn on if it doesn’t have power. Reset the corresponding breaker if it’s facing the outside of the electrical panel.
  • Is the air filter clogged? 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 contact a heating and cooling company like Verona HVAC.

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 Isn’t Shutting Off

If it’s very 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 using the blower can keep humidity levels in check, but it’ll also increase 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 compatible with your heat pump.
  • A malfunctioning compressor contactor, which controls the flow of electricity.
  • Leaky ductwork.

Estimated Repair Cost

This can be linked to a lot of 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

Every now and then during cold weather, your heat pump will temporarily go into cooling mode. This will dissolve light frost and ice that naturally accumulates on the coils. A heat pump that becomes totally frozen may struggle to heat your home or shut down completely.

Here are a few reasons why this might be taking place:

  • Your heat pump doesn’t have enough airflow because it’s obstructed by snow, bushes or yard debris.
  • Your gutters are dripping water on top of your heat pump, causing 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 likely if you’re hearing bubbling or hissing noises. 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 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 problem.

  • 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.

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 linked to many problems. We advise checking for:

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

If there’s nothing wrong 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 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 problem.

  • 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 manufactured.
  • 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 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 accurate 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 running in your air handler, there’s probably an issue with the thermostat.

A couple other typical 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 recommended to have a heating and cooling professional 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 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 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 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 located 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 pricier since it’s no longer being made.
  • Seal leaky ductwork: Depends on house size.

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

Dealing with a malfunctioning heat pump can be irritating, but not when you call Verona HVAC. Our professionals have been providing the quality, affordable heat pump repair Santa Clarita homeowners have relied on since 2012. Get in touch with us at 818-306-3387 to get your free estimate now.

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