The Cost of Repairing Your Heat Pump

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There are some essential advantages to having a heat pump instead of a traditional HVAC system. Unlike an HVAC system with two primary components, a heat pump is a single unit that can both heat and cool a space.

While this does make maintenance a little easier and less expensive, chances are repairs will be necessary at some point. So, what does it cost to repair or replace a heat pump? Breaking down heat pump replacement costs is a great way to budget for potential future repairs. 

When you know the average repair and replacement costs, it can also help you decide if a heat pump is the best option for your home or business.

Cost of Repairing Your Heat Pump

What is a Heat Pump?

Pretty much everyone is familiar with a furnace and air conditioning unit—the furnace produces warm air, while the air conditioner helps keep the space cool in hot weather. When the units are part of the same system, it’s often referred to as an HVAC (heating, ventilation, air conditioning) unit.

With a heat pump, you only have a single component that does the work of both a furnace and an air conditioner.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Heat Pumps

Heat pumps are typically more energy-efficient than HVAC systems. You tend to have lower energy bills with heat pumps compared to furnaces and air conditioners.

When something goes wrong, a heat pump is easier to diagnose and repair. Remember, you’re only dealing with one unit. With an HVAC system, the repair personnel may end up inspecting both components before finding the problem, which often means lower repair bills.

Even though there are advantages to using a heat pump, you’ll also run into a few downsides. Heat pumps are usually priced higher than air conditioners. However, the purchasing costs can be offset by lower energy and repair bills.

Another downside is lifespan, as heat pumps have shorter lifespans than HVAC systems, primarily due to running the unit year-round. With an HVAC system, you’re giving the air conditioner and finance a break when you’re running one or the other.

Something else to consider before installing a heat pump is your climate; if freezing temperatures are common, a heat pump may not be the best option. The unit may struggle to heat the space, which can shorten its lifespan and increase energy usage rates.

Costs Associated with Repairing and Replacing Heat Pumps

Costs associated with repairing or replacing a heat pump can range anywhere from less than $100 to around $6,000—however, this is before factoring in the labor. How much you spend on labor depends on the service provider you choose. Some charge an hourly rate, while others assess their fees by the type and scope of the project.

For example, some homeowners can pay around $10,000 in heat pump installation costs. Others may only receive a bill for $3,000 or less. When it comes to repairs and replacement parts, the costs also vary from an estimated $90 for switches and up to $700 for a thermostat or condenser motor.

Factors Affecting Repair and Replacement Costs

A few factors can affect how much it costs to repair your heat. Air-to-air and water-source heat pumps are typically the cheapest and easiest to repair, while geothermal heat pumps are the most expensive to repair. Along with the type of heat pump, here are some other factors affecting repair costs.

The Season

Yes, weather can affect repair costs, and repairs are usually more expensive during the summer and winter, which is due to demand. Repair services tend to charge more during peak seasons. In ideal conditions, your heat pump won’t need repairs until the spring or fall, when service companies tend to be slower and often offer discounted prices.

Heat Pump Age

Older heat pumps are more expensive to repair, which is often due to replacing older parts that may be more difficult to locate. When the service center is spending time tracking down your part, the total repair costs usually go up. Remember, you are often paying for the time spent searching for the necessary part.

Size of the Heat Pump

Larger heat pumps tend to be more expensive to repair, and this is an industry standard; repair personnel will ultimately spend more time diagnosing the issue and making the necessary fixes. Obviously, it’s not going to take as much time to work on a small heat pump.

Avoid Expensive Repairs and Replacements with Regular Maintenance

Your heat pump does have a lifespan, and repairs along the way will probably be necessary at some point. However, you can minimize these expenses with regular maintenance. 

Having your heat pump inspected at least once a year can save you plenty of money on repair and replacement costs.

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