Home heating and cooling systems are expensive, so it's understandable for homeowners to expect this investment to last them through the years. A heat pump offers an efficient, complete heating and cooling solution in one system, whereas conventional HVAC technology requires the purchase of two separate systems, like a furnace and an air conditioner. But is the lifetime of a heat pump compromised by its dual functionality? How long do heat pumps last? In this article, we help you understand the lifetime of a heat pump and offer tips on how to extend it.
Heat pumps typically last around 10 to 15 years, but some experts claim a well-maintained heat pump can last closer as long as 20 to 25 years.
The lifetime of a heat pump largely depends on the model and how the system is maintained through the years.
Rising electricity bills, frequent repairs, and decreasing air quality are indicators that it might be time to replace your heat pump system.
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The lifetime of a heat pump is still something of a debate, but it's generally accepted that heat pumps last around 10 to 15 years – though some experts claim that a properly installed and maintained heat pump should last 20 to 25 years. But, at the end of the day, the lifetime of your heat pump depends on the model, how often it's used, and how well it's maintained.
Currently, conventional heating and cooling systems, like furnaces and air conditioners, will probably outlast a heat pump system by a few years. However, unlike these solutions, we rely on heat pumps year-round. Although furnaces and air conditioners may last a little longer than a heat pump system, they require multiple purchases and, in turn, multiple replacements down the line. Additionally, heat pump technology is improving all the time, so it's likely that their expected useful life will continue to increase.
The energy consumption of a well-maintained heat pump is 10 to 25 percent lower than that of a neglected one, according to the Department of Energy. Just like any other HVAC system, the performance of heat pumps will decline over time until a replacement is necessary. However, proper maintenance increases the lifetime and efficiency of a heat pump – they should be serviced by a licensed professional at least once a year to check for things like obstructions, duct leaks, airflow, and more. To optimize your system in both the heating and cooling seasons, it's best to receive professional maintenance twice a year. Additionally, at-home maintenance can help extend the life of your heat pump while mitigating the escalation of preventable issues into larger service needs; regularly cleaning air filters and your outdoor unit prevent airflow obstructions to boost efficiency.
Even the most well-maintained heat pump faces an inevitable decline over time. After a decade and a half or more of comfortable temperature control, you could start to experience signs that it might be time to replace your heat pump system. For example, rising energy bills and/or poor indoor air quality may indicate that your system's performance is declining. Similarly, if your aging system requires frequent repairs, it may be more cost-effective to replace it rather than continuously repair its breakdowns. To better understand the cause of any issue with your heat pump system and whether replacing or repairing it is the best option for you, it's best to consult with a trusted installer.
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