How much does it cost to repair a heat pump?
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Heat Pump Repair Cost Guide
Updated: August 17, 2022
Heat pumps are a popular method for heating and cooling homes. They are much more energy-efficient than other HVAC systems because they only use electricity to move heat, not to generate it. They develop a few problems over their lifetimes, which may need repair to keep the system completely operational. There are several types of units, which all come in different sizes and configurations. The type you have and the type of repair necessary vary from system to system, which accounts for a wide range of costs.
Repairing a heat pump averages between $250 and $950. Most homeowners pay around $650 to replace the blower motor on a mid-sized unit. On the lower end, recharging the refrigerant in a small one can cost just $90, while replacing the compressor on a large unit can cost up to $3,500 on average.
Heat Pump Repair Price
|Heat Pump Repair Cost
|National average cost
Heat Pump Repair Costs by Type
Heat pump repair costs range from $200 to $2,200 depending on the type of system and damage. The biggest difference between the types is the source of energy they use. Location, climate, and budget are three important factors to consider when choosing the best type for you. The table below highlights the most popular types and the costs for repair, followed by subsections explaining the most common problems.
|Repair Cost (Labor Included)
|$200 - $1,750
|$200 - $1,800
|$200 - $1,800
|$200 - $2,000
|$200 - $2,200
Air Source Heat Pump Repair
One of the most common types of heat pumps is an air source unit, which can cost anywhere from $200 to $1,750 to repair. They take heat from the air and compress it, moving it into or out of your home. They are central with air ducts or ductless. Air source units have an extra outdoor component, requiring repair more frequently than other types. Its advantages include their low installation costs and easy accessibility for repairs. Their disadvantage is that they are not a great choice for extreme climates. The most common problems with air source units include lost pressure, no heat, or the pump freezes.
Water Source Heat Pump Repair
Water source heat pump repair costs from $200 to $1,800. This type of system uses pipes that are located at the bottom of a lake or a pond. Water source units tend to be the least common type as many people are not located close to a body of water or have regulations that stop them from using this type of water source. Some advantages with the type are the low operating costs and that they are highly energy efficient. Limitations include high installation costs and that they are not suitable for people located far from bodies of water. The most common issues with water source units include reduced or no water flow, water range out of temperature in cooling, or being overcharged with refrigerant.
Ductless Heat Pump Repair
A ductless heat pump system costs about the same to repair as all other systems, at around $200 to $1,800. This type of system is commonly referred to as a mini-split system, in which it provides zoned heating and cooling without the need to install ductwork. There are two main parts to the system: the outdoor unit and indoor evaporative units. The outdoor unit requires placement on a concrete pad. These systems are great in that they are energy efficient and compatible with homes without ductwork. Their limitations are that their installation cost is more than other types and that they are not the best option in extreme climates. Some of the most common problems and repairs needed for ductless units include the thermostat, reversing valve, low refrigerant, and problems with the outdoor fan motor.
Geothermal Heat Pump Repair
Geothermal heat pumps, also referred to as ground source systems, can cost anywhere from $200 to $2,000 to repair. Geothermal systems take heat from the ground to warm your house and deposit it back into the ground from your home to cool it. They may also use groundwater or a lake if there is one on your property. Because geothermal systems have buried tubing, this rarely needs repair. In most instances, the only repairs you may need are for the compressor or air handler. Air source and geothermal units use the same indoor components, so both types have similar cost ranges for repair. The only minor differences are if the geothermal unit needs new tubing or the outdoor component freezes. Even then, for the most part, costs between the two types tend to be fairly comparable, with most of the costs dictated by things like the unit brand or size rather than its type. Geothermal pumps work well in extreme climates and are energy efficient. The downfalls of these units are that they have high installation costs and can be difficult to access for repairs.
Dual Fuel Heat Pump
Dual fuel heat pump system repairs cost between $200 and $2,200. They use an air source system until the temperature reaches 30 degrees Fahrenheit. At this point, they switch to a forced hot air gas furnace. Since they use an air source unit most of the time, you still save energy and money on heating costs. These systems also work well to cool your home in the summer. If you live in a very cold climate, this type of pump may be a better fit. The most common repairs and problems with dual fuel units include blowing cold air in heat mode, failing to turn on, or emitting strange smells from the unit.
Heat Pump Repair Prices by Problem
The average cost to repair a heat pump is influenced by the problem, ranging from $80 to $3,500. They have multiple pieces that must work together for your unit to run. If one part breaks, it may cause everything to shut down. The chart and sections below highlight some of the most common problems and the average cost to fix them:
|Repair Cost (Labor Included)
|Obstructions or Blockages
|$80 - $150
|$90 - $610
|Will Not Defrost
|$90 - $650
|Blowing Cold Air
|$140 - $1,250
|Faulty Thermostat Wiring
|$145 - $230
|Defective Programmable Thermostat
|$145 - $230
|Not Turning On
|$145 - $400
|Reversing Valve Stuck
|$200 - $650
|Stuck in Defrost Mode
|$200 - $650
|Reversing Valve Noise
|$200 - $650
|$450 - $750
|$750 - $3,300
|Compressor Does Not Run
|$1,500 - $3,500
Blocked Heat Pump
This has a repair cost range of $80 to $150. Because part of your heat pump is located outside, there are times when the condensate line or pump is blocked, which stops the pump from working. Snow, ice, leaves, or another type of debris can cause this blockage making it difficult for the pump to do its job. Clearing the obstruction, pump, and drain line may solve the problem.
Heat Pump Leaking
The average cost to fix a heat pump leak is between $90 to $610. A common issue when the pump is leaking is frozen evaporator coils. Frozen evaporator coils are often the result of the refrigerant levels dropping lower than required. This can cause ice to build up on the coils. In this case, you may need to have your coils replaced. Sometimes, the coils are fine, and a slow leak may be resolved with a recharge.
Heat Pump Will not Defrost
The cost range to fix the issue of the heat pump not defrosting ranges between $90 and $650. A few common causes of this issue are a broken circuit board or the need for more refrigerant. These issues can be fixed quite easily by a professional. A fix includes replacing the defrost control board and recharging the refrigerant. If you want to defrost your unit right away, you can try to do so by simply turning on the fan. Blowing air will usually assist in thawing the equipment. This is only a quick fix.
Heat Pump Blowing Cold Air
A wide range of costs is associated with fixing a heat pump that blows cold air, ranging from $140 to $1,250. There are numerous reasons for blowing cold air, from a faulty thermostat to a broken capacitor. Multiple parts can be replaced to fix this issue, including the thermostat, coils, capacitor, and two-pole contactor. Depending on the situation, only some of these parts may require replacement.
Faulty Thermostat Wiring
The most common solution to a faulty thermostat is a new thermostat, costing $145 to $230. If your thermostat is not wired properly, it will not work correctly. While rewiring can be a solution, sometimes it is not the best. Replacing your thermostat can be a more cost-effective solution. You should seek professional assistance when dealing with the wiring on a thermostat.
Defective Programmable Thermostat
Repairing your thermostat can cost around $145 to $230. Programmable thermostats may be defective or simply stop working over time. If this happens, it means that your heat pump will not work either. The solution to this issue is simply having your thermostat replaced. While repair can be a solution, replacing your thermostat can be a more cost-effective solution.
Heat Pump Not Turning On
The average cost to fix a heat pump that is not turning on is between $145 and $400. Your unit may not turn on for various reasons, including a faulty thermostat or a broken breaker or fan switch. There are three solutions to fixing this issue: replacing the thermostat, the breaker, or the fan switch. In some instances, more than one of these may need to be replaced to fix the issue.
Heat Pump Reversing Valve Stuck
The cost to repair a stuck reversing valve ranges from $200 to $650. In a heat pump, the reversing valve is responsible for controlling the direction the refrigerant flows. If your reversing valve gets stuck, then your unit has trouble maintaining the temperature. In this case, the best solution is to replace the reversing valve.
Heat Pump Stuck in Defrost Mode
To solve the issue of the heat pump stuck in defrost mode, you need to replace the board at the cost of $200 to $650. If your defrost circuit board on an air source pump malfunctions, it may end up stuck in defrost mode. Defrost mode is often common in the winter months when the pump works to remove the frost from built up ice. However, if your unit gets stuck in defrost mode, this means that your unit does not run.
Heat Pump Reversing Valve Noise
If you experience reversing valve noises, you can expect to pay around $200 and $650 to have this fixed. If your reversing valve makes a noise, this is a sign that it is likely about to fail and needs replacing. It is a good idea to have this replaced right away so that it does not lead to any other issues. In some instances, a buzzing noise coming from the unit is quite normal, especially in the wintertime.
Sometimes customers complain of a "buzzing" noise coming from the outdoor unit, even when it is not running. This is usually caused by the reversing valve solenoid coil. It is usually a low voltage device (24 volts). Some are just louder than others, and in most cases, this is normal.
Heat Pump Temperature Problems
If you experience temperature problems, you can expect to pay between $450 and $750 to have it fixed. If you have uneven temperatures within your home, this can cause some temperature issues. This most likely means you have problems with the dampers on your ducts. This may also mean that your ducts may need to be sealed. Fixing this issue can also involve installing new dampers.
Heat Pump Ductwork Issues
To solve the issue of ductwork, you can expect to pay from $750 to $3,300. This can be one of the more expensive heat pump fixes. Ductwork problems include leaking air, rust, or complete failure of the system. If this is the case, you may need to seal them or replace them entirely. If you experience ductwork issues, you can expect to pay higher energy bills, and your rooms will be harder to warm.
Heat Pump Compressor Not Running
One of the most expensive issues to fix is the compressor not running at the cost of between $1,500 and $3,500. Without a compressor, the system cannot effectively heat the air in your home. If it stops running, it likely needs to be replaced. The cost you will pay is directly influenced by the type of system you have. A professional will inspect the compressor and run a test to see if it has failed and needs replacement.
Heat Pump Repair Cost by Replacement Part
In addition to the problem, the average cost to repair a heat pump is directly influenced by the replacement part, ranging in cost from $80 to $3,500. If your unit stops working, you will probably find that one or more parts need to be replaced for it to run properly. Below is a list of the most common parts to fail and the average cost to replace them. The subsections explain each.
|Replacement Cost (Labor Included)
|$80 - $200
|$90 - $250
|$140 - $250
|$140 - $300
|$200 - $650
|$250 - $650
|$250 - $950
|$610 - $1,250
|$650 - $1,500
|$1,500 - $3,500
Fan Breaker Replacement
The cost of replacing the breaker is around $80 and $200. The cost you pay depends on the type of pump. The fan uses a breaker to regulate and keep it running properly. If this breaks, the fan stops. When the breaker stops, it is doing its job by cutting off the power before something worse happens, such as an electrical fire. This issue should be dealt with immediately.
Pressure Switch Replacement
Replacing the switch costs between $90 and $250. Your pressure switch is also an integral part of the heat pump. Without it, your pump may stop running. A failing pressure switch is due to various reasons, including a restricted air intake vent, restricted combustion air vent, or even failure of the inducer motor.
Heat Pump Capacitor Replacement
The cost to replace a heat pump capacitor is between $140 and $250. The capacitor is not a big part of the unit, but it is an essential one, as well as something that wears out and needs replacement. It is responsible for jump starting a motor and a compressor. Generally, they have two types of capacitors.
If it fails, you can replace a heat pump contactor at the cost of $140 to $300. The contactor is another small part that is essential to the pump’s operation. It is responsible for controlling the flow of electricity to different components in the system. This is what makes it run. The contactor works together with the capacitor. A sign that this has failed is when the system runs normally, but the air is not heating.
Reversing Valve Replacement
The cost to replace a reversing valve is between $200 and $650. The reversing valve opens and closes, wearing out over time. This part aids in maintaining the temperature. One of the most common problems that can develop over time with the reversing valve is that it can get stuck. It may get stuck in between modes or in a specific mode. It can be a part that is quite time consuming and difficult to replace.
Heat Pump Fan Motor Replacement
The cost to replace the motor averages $250 to $650. Your fan’s motor is something that wears out over time, often before the rest of the unit. The function of the heat pump fan is to facilitate air flow and circulation. It helps to distribute warm or cold air in the area. Some common signs that your fan motor might need replacing include: your blades are rotating slowly or acting odd, strange noises, little to no warm air, and the system cutting out every once in a while.
Heat Pump Motor Replacement
If the blower motor fails, it has a replacement cost of $250 to $950. A heat pump blower motor is an integral part of its operation. Without this, the air handler is unable to do its job. There are a few common signs that the motor is going bad, including the fan blades are moving slowly, little to no cold air, strange noises, and your fan blades are acting odd.
Evaporator Coil Replacement
The cost to replace the evaporator coil is quite expensive, ranging from $610 to $1,250. The evaporator coil is one of the bigger parts of an air source heat pump and is integral to its working properly. The purpose of this part is to hold the chilled refrigerant that the compressor moves. The coil is located in the blower compartment or air handler.
Condenser Coil Replacement
The cost to replace the evaporator coil is similar to that of the evaporator coil, ranging from $650 to $1,500. The condenser coil acts as the heat exchanger for the pump. It transfers heat from the refrigerant to your ducts to circulate through the house. Without it, your unit does not work properly. This is one of the major parts of the system.
Heat Pump Compressor Replacement
If the heat pump compressor fails, it costs between $1,500 to $3,500 to replace. A compressor heats the refrigerant, even after it works to take heat from the air or in the ground. This process is extremely important for the system to do its job. If it stops running, it likely needs to be replaced. Most of the signs of a failing compressor are subtle, including reduced airflow.
Labor Cost to Repair Heat Pump
While some of the repair cost is for the part(s) needed, the labor and how long it takes the technician to perform the repair make up a large part of the price. For replacing the blower motor on a mid-sized unit, expect to pay $85 to $285 in labor and $165 to $665 in materials, for a total cost of $250 to $950. Regarding labor costs, hiring a technician for heat pump repairs costs between $85 and $95 per hour. Most repairs only take one to three hours to complete. Most technicians have a standard diagnostic fee of $80 to $90, including travel time and identifying the problem. You pay this fee even if they arrive and discover that it was user error, and nothing is wrong with the system. In some cases, they waive this fee if you agree to have the work done. Depending on the company, some charge a flat fee for small jobs of up to $250 in labor.
When you hire an HVAC professional to repair your heat pump, they come out to inspect the problem. Once they do this, they can determine what needs to be done and provide you with an estimate for the work. After you approve the plan, they schedule a time to come back and complete the repairs or replacement.
Emergency Heat Pump Repair
Emergency heat pump repair services have an additional call out of fee of $80 to $100 in addition to the other repair costs. Some may charge more if it is the middle of the night or a holiday, up to $250 in emergency charges. Most companies offer 24/7 services and respond within an hour. If your unit breaks suddenly in the middle of a cold snap, you want the repair service to come quickly.
Cost of Refrigerant for Heat Pump
The cost to recharge your heat pump with refrigerant is around $90 to $200. The cost you pay depends on the system and how much you need. The system runs refrigerant through the lines, circulating collected heat from the air or ground. Sometimes, it may need a recharge or additional refrigerant. Low refrigerant levels lead to insufficient heat transfer and reduced working capabilities.
Heat Pump Maintenance Cost
Heat pump maintenance is relatively affordable, averaging in cost from $75 to $150 annually. As you would expect, the cost you will pay for maintenance depends on the company, location, type and complexity of your system, and how often your system is serviced. Most specialists recommend that you schedule maintenance at least once a year. If your unit is your primary heating and cooling system, they sometimes even recommend maintenance twice; in the fall and spring. During maintenance visits, you can expect a professional technician to perform some of the following tasks: cleaning the coils and drain pan, inspecting the ducts and filters, flushing the drain line, finding any leaks, measuring the refrigerant charge, checking for repairs, initiating a defrost cycle, inspecting wiring, checking the blower, inspecting belt tightness and wear, inspecting and lubricating motors and bearings, testing thermostat operation, and verifying that sensors are properly situated. A well maintained system is important to energy efficiency, comfort, and optimization.
Heat Pump Troubleshooting
If your heat pump stops working, there are times when the problem is something you can solve yourself. Before you call out a technician, troubleshoot to find the source of the problem. First, ensure that your thermostat is set correctly and that it is on and operational. Next, check to make sure that your thermostat and unit are both set to either “heat” or “air conditioning,” depending on the time of year. Also, check the breaker to see that it is turned on properly. Check the temperature outside. It is normal for pumps to run nearly constantly in very hot or cold temperatures. If your unit runs more than usual, it might be because the temperature outside is more extreme. If you notice frost on your evaporator coil, replace the filter. Sometimes, a dirty filter causes this issue. If none of these issues are the cause of your problem or you notice a leak, damage, excessive dirt or debris, or faulty wiring, call your HVAC technician for a service appointment as soon as possible.
Heat Pump Repair or Replace
The cost to repair a heat pump averages from $250 to $950 depending on the repair, while replacement ranges from $4,000 to $10,000. Depending on the type of pump, you may find that you do not need to replace it. Some systems are designed to last more than 100 years. If you have a geothermal system, the exterior portion is designed to last 50 to 100 years before needing replacement. So, if you have a problem with the system, it is usually indoors, and the solution is almost always to repair the problem. Air source units do not last as long, and the exterior portion may fail after 10 years. The interior part lasts longer, but if the unit is 10 years old and beginning to have problems, you may want to replace it because newer models are available that are more energy-efficient. If yours is under 10 years old, repairing is the better choice because it will keep it going for a few more years.
|Average Cost (Labor included)
|$250 - $950
|$5,000 - $10,000
Enhancement and Improvement Costs
The cost of an HVAC inspection is around $250 to $400. An HVAC inspection involves a professional, sometimes a home inspector, completing a review of your HVAC system and ensuring that it is functioning properly. This inspection determines any current issues and helps to avoid long-term issues. This avoids unexpected repair bills by keeping the unit working optimally. For these reasons and more, having your heat pump inspected and serviced regularly is a crucial part of annual maintenance for homes big and small.
High-Efficiency Heat Pump
A new high-efficiency air source heat pump costs around $5,000 to $10,000. Like many systems, they come in a few different efficiencies: standard and high-efficiency. If your unit is older, you may want to replace it with a high-efficiency model. These systems use a heating season performance rating factor (HSPF). A standard unit has an HSPF of 8 to 11, while a high-efficiency one has an HSPF of 13 or 14. While all models are efficient, newer ones save you even more money, while heating and cooling more effectively.
Additional Considerations and Costs
- Peak repair seasons. If your repair is done during very hot or cold weather, it costs up to 30% more, simply because HVAC technicians are busier at these times.
- Location. If your unit is in a hard-to-reach area of your home, it takes longer to repair and results in higher bills.
- Old systems. If you have an older unit, it is harder to locate parts. This is one reason why older systems are more likely to be replaced.
- Size. The larger the unit, the bigger and more expensive the parts.
- Brands. Some high-quality brand names have more expensive parts than others. Carrier, Bryant, and Lennox have parts that are usually more expensive than others.
- Maintenance. If your unit is badly maintained, it may need multiple repairs. This is why good maintenance is important to the way the unit functions.
- DIY repair. While a few simple repairs are safe and reasonably simple to do without training, DIY repair may not be the best alternative. In most cases, repair should be left to the professionals to ensure safety, follow regulations, obtain the correct parts, and adhere to the terms of the warranty.
- How much does it cost to replace a condenser in a heat pump?
The cost to replace a condenser is $650 to $1,500.
- How many years does a heat pump last?
This depends on the type of unit. Air source units last about 12 to 15 years, and geothermal ones last up to 100.
- How do you reset your heat pump?
Your unit should have a breaker to reset it. If you cannot locate it, call your HVAC technician.
- Should I repair or replace my heat pump?
If it is an indoor component, it is best to repair it. An outdoor component more than 10 years old should be replaced if it is an air source unit.
- Why is my heat pump blowing cold air when the heat is on?
This might be a failed condenser or failed compressor, but it can be because of many different problems like the thermostat.
- How do I know if my heat pump is working properly?
If it is heating and cooling your home without struggling or causing higher bills, it is working properly.