How Long Do Heat Pumps Last: Efficiency,Economic Benefit

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By Debarghya Roy

Heat pumps are ideal systems for efficient and enduring climate control. If you’re wondering how long your heat pump will last, then the answer may vary depending on several factors.

In this blog post, you will find the detailed information regarding the life expectancy of heat pumps.

Key Takeaways

  • Heat pumps typically have a lifespan of 10 to 25 years, depending on make/model, climate considerations and usage patterns.
  • Investing in a well-known and reputable heat pump brand, along with ensuring proper installation and maintenance can help prolong its life expectancy.
  • Regular maintenance checks should be carried out on all types of heat pumps to ensure they perform at their best for their full projected lifespans.
  • Newer units generally boast higher level performance as well as significant cost savings associated with their extended lifespans due to available more energy efficient refrigerants like R410A ratings compared than pre 2010 models that use outdated R22 ones.

How long do heat pumps last?

On average, a standard air-source unit can last between 10 to 15 years while models with more advanced features tend to be around 20 years plus.

Lifespan Of Components Of Heat Pumps

Components of heat pumps also play an important role in enhancing their lifespan, the average life expectancy of different components are shown in the graph below,  

Average Lifespan Of Different Heat Pump Brands

The average lifespan of heat pumps varies between different brands, with some models lasting longer than others due to factors such as quality, design, and performance.

 The table below presents the average lifespan of some popular heat pump brands in the market.

Heat Pump BrandAverage Lifespan
Carrier15-20 years
Trane14-18 years
Lennox15-20 years
Goodman10-15 years
Rheem13-18 years
Daikin12-15 years
Mitsubishi Electric15-20 years
Fujitsu15-20 years
LG15-20 years
York10-15 years

Factors Influencing Heat Pump Lifespan

Regular Maintenance and Professional Servicing Of Heat Pumps

Scheduling regular professional servicing is essential to extend the lifetime of a heat pump.

Regular maintenance should be performed at least once per year to ensure that all components are functioning properly, check refrigerant levels and clean or replace air filters, compressor fins, fans and other parts as needed. 

Regular servicing greatly reduces the risk of breakdowns or failures due to wear and tear over time.

Proper Installation Of Heat Pumps

Inadequately-sized systems cannot perform as they were designed, leading to early failure of system components due to strain put on them when operating in excess capacity. 

Installing a system with an adequate cooling/heating load size is essential for maximum lifespan (and performance) from the unit.

Climate Considerations

Heat pumps located in cold climates may need more frequent repairs since colder temperatures often reduce system efficiency by increasing energy usage requirements which can place greater stress on equipment components like compressors and fans belts push belts into contact with metal casings which accelerates wear issues and necessitates repair or replacement earlier than expected lifespans.

Usage Patterns And Energy-Efficient Settings Of Heat Pumps

The expected lifespan of heat pumps is largely affected by usage patterns, energy-efficient settings and the environment. 

Heat pumps need to be properly operated if they want to perform at their best and last longer.

A few steps should be taken to ensure that a heat pump will last its full projected life span such as setting it according to manufacturers’ recommended temperatures, getting regular maintenance tune-ups and using a thermostat with time scheduling for temperature control and efficient operation.

Additionally, using an energy-saving mode when feasible can extend the life expectancy of heat pumps since there is less wear on components due to reduced run cycles.

Technological Advancements And System Sizing Of Heat Pump

In recent years, there has been significant advancement in heat pump technology, resulting in more efficient and durable systems. 

By accurately assessing the size of your property’s geometry, insolation and climate history, you can ensure yourself a perfectly sized heating system that is both durable and energy-efficient.

For example, geoexchange or ground source heat pumps offer up to 65% yearly energy savings over traditional air source pumps due to its higher temperature efficiency ranges (EER).

Impact Of Refrigerant Type Of Heat Pump

The type and amount of refrigerant used in a heat pump can have an impact on its lifespan. 

  • The more energy efficient the refrigerant is, the longer it will last as well as providing better performance.
  • Refrigerants also need to be optimally charged. Too much or too little charge in comparison with manufactures’ recommendations can reduce efficiency and shorten system life.
  • Newer heat pumps available today utilize environmentally friendly R410A ratings which are at least 10% more efficient compared to models that use outdated R22 refrigerant types that were previously common before 2010.
  • Refrigerant leaks can lead to poor performance and extremely high electricity bills as more energy is needed for adequate cooling. 

Signs Your Heat Pump Needs Replacing

It includes rising energy bills, frequent repairs, poor indoor air quality, strange noises, reduced indoor air quality and other issues.

Rising Energy Bills Of Heat Pump

An increase in energy bills can be one of the first signs that a heat pump is nearing or has breached its expected lifespan. 

Typically, heat pumps are designed to have a life cycle ranging from 10-12 years, although factors like climate and usage patterns can affect the longevity.

These effects could be observed as higher than usual energy bills due to the fact that an older system becomes less efficient over time and struggles to maintain ideal temperatures in both colder and hotter climates.

The only way to counteract this problem is either through regular maintenance routine checks or by simply replacing the old unit with an updated more energy-efficient model.

Frequent Repairs  Of Heat Pump

A heat pump isn’t expected to require frequent repairs, and if it starts needing them more regularly than every couple of years, this is an indication that something isn’t right.

Proper installation requires that all components be properly sized for the unit that enhances its lifespan, any wiring inconsistencies are repaired, insulation needs are met for both gas supply lines and ductwork systems, filters need to be replaced periodically, and refrigerant levels must remain at the recommended level.

Poor Indoor Air Quality Of Heat Pump

Poor indoor air quality is often an indicator that a heat pump needs replacing, as it is an indication of malfunctioning parts or other potential issues. 

Poor indoor air can be caused by dust buildup on heating and cooling components, dirty filters that are no longer trapping particles, worn-out seals, clogged drain lines and rust from aging systems, all of which reduce energy efficiency and increase energy costs.

Maintaining good air quality in the home requires more than just regular maintenance. Proper insulation and upgrades can help preserve the lifespan of your unit too. 

Strange Noises Produced By Heat Pumps

Strange noises coming from your heat pump are an indication that something is wrong with the system. 

A faint clicking noise might indicate that a starter capacitor associated with the compressor or fan motor is failing, while humming or whistling noises likely point to trouble within the blower assembly.

Heat Pump Lifespan Vs. Traditional HVAC Systems Lifespan

Lifespan of heat pumps and traditional HVAC systems differ in terms of their average working period, energy efficiency, cost, and environmental impact. 

It’s essential for professionals to understand the factors that contribute to the heat pump’s lifespan when selecting the most suitable system for their needs.

CharacteristicHeat PumpTraditional HVAC System
Average working period15 years on average, depending on location and usage.10-25 years, depending on system type and maintenance.
Energy EfficiencyHigher efficiency due to technology, especially in moderate climates, as they move heat rather than generating it.Lower efficiency, as furnaces and air conditioners typically consume more energy to generate heat or cool air.
CostInitial costs may be higher, but long-term savings can be achieved through reduced energy consumption.Lower upfront costs but may result in higher energy bills due to less efficient operation.
Environmental ImpactLower carbon emissions and reduced dependence on fossil fuels, making them a greener choice.Higher carbon emissions due to increased energy consumption and reliance on fossil fuels for heating.

Lifespan Of Air-Source Vs. Ground-Source Heat Pumps

Air-source and ground-source heat pumps are the two most common types of heating systems used in many homes today. While both deliver energy efficient heating and cooling, there is a difference in how long each type will last.

CharacteristicAir source heat pumpsGround source heat pumps
Average working periodAir source heat pumps tend to have a shorter lifespan compared to ground source ones, with an average range of 15 – 25 years.Ground source units can last up to 20 – 25 years or more with proper maintenance and installation.
Energy EfficiencyHigher efficiency due to technology, especially in moderate climates, as they move heat rather than generating it.Lower efficiency, as furnaces and air conditioners typically consume more energy to generate heat or cool air.
CostAir-source systems are less expensive upfront than their geo counterparts but require greater energy input over time which makes them slightly less cost efficient than geothermal models.Geothermal heat pumps offer quieter operation due to underground loop systems, however they do come at considerably higher price tags compared to air-source versions.

Lifespan Of Commercial Vs Residential Heat Pump 

Commercial heat pumps are typically subjected to higher loads and more frequent use than those in residential settings.

Commercial Heat PumpResidential Heat Pump
LifespanThis can lead to a shorter lifespan, particularly if the system is not properly sized for the building’s demands, or if maintenance and servicing is neglected.Residential heat pumps tend to have more moderate use with fewer peaks and troughs in their operation schedule. Annual inspections and filter changes that extend system life expectancy even further.

Troubleshooting Common Issues To Prolong Heat Pump Lifespan

The most common issues with heat pumps include poor indoor air quality, frequent breakdowns, inadequate heating or cooling output, and unexpected noise.

If these symptoms are present in your heat pump system, fortunately there are several steps you can take in order to troubleshoot the problem.

Humidifier Levels Of Heat Pump

A key sign of an issue is if you notice that the air inside your home has become heavy and stale or smelly due to a buildup of dust and dirt particles. 

Be sure to replace dirty filters regularly and double check for any clogs in the drain line that could be blocking airflow as well as consider having a professional inspect your ductwork for any debris build up or leaks. 

Regularly maintain humidifier levels according to manufacturer’s guidelines.

Improper setting can lead to mold formation on cold surfaces such as window sills and walls or cause breathing difficulties due to low humidity levels

Frequent Breakdowns Of Heat Pump

Heat pumps require regular inspections and preventative maintenance services depending on manufacturer recommendations which should be conducted annually at least once per year by licensed professionals. 

During these services, technicians will examine all components, check refrigerant levels, clean coils fins etc.

Proper installation from certified experts also plays an important role here since improperly installed systems may cause frequent breakdowns resulting from electrical wiring faults etc.

Professional Servicing Of Heat Pump

It is important for homeowners and businesses to invest in professional servicing and warranty coverage for their heat pumps to ensure that they are able to maximize the lifespan of their system.

Regular maintenance, such as annual inspections and cleanings, performed by qualified technicians can help prevent breakdowns while optimizing the performance of a heat pump.

Professional maintenance ensures that components like evaporator coils, refrigerant lines, condensers, compressors and fans are all inspected and cleaned regularly, helping maintain efficiency levels over time.

Proper Insulation And Upgrades To Increase Lifespan Of Heat Pump

Proper insulation and upgrades of a heat pump system are key in ensuring longevity and efficiency. 

Insulation materials help reduce energy loss by trapping air just outside the equipment, keeping outdoor temperatures from impacting internal components.

They also protect against snow, ice or other debris buildup on the heat pump’s cabinet or ductwork during extreme weather conditions.

Replacing an older model with a more energy-efficient one benefits both commercial and residential owners. 

High SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) models can function up to fifteen percent more efficiently than old ones while consuming fewer resources like electricity and fuel oil to perform at their optimum level.

The Environmental Impact Of Heat Pump Lifespan

Heat pumps are highly energy-efficient systems, offering both heating and cooling capabilities with minimal impact on the environment. 

Heat pumps have a far greater efficiency than traditional HVAC systems because they transfer heat rather than generating it, reducing emissions by up to four times less.

The fact that heat pump lifespans are longer means they produce fewer greenhouse gasses throughout their lifetime when compared to other air conditioners or furnaces which require replacement within 6–10 years.

This extended lifespan allows users to enjoy the temperature changes at home while using much less electricity and making fewer trips to buy replacements in comparison with regular systems.

Economic Benefits Of Purchasing Heat Pumps Of Higher Lifespan

Investing in high-quality heat pump systems can reduce your energy use by 30% – 60%, translating into significant long-term savings on your energy bills.

Switching from electric heating to a heat pump, for example, can result in annual savings of more than £500.

Heat pumps typically come with longer warranties than other types of HVAC systems, with many lasting up to 10 years or even longer if maintained properly. 

Homeowners may also qualify for tax credits when they purchase an Energy Star certified model since these have higher efficiency ratings. 

This combined with any applicable rebates offered makes buying a high-efficiency heat pump system much more cost effective over time than traditional models.

In addition to government incentives, there are several technological advancements that make investing in high quality products worthwhile too: 

  • Ductless mini split units provide both zoning control as well as eliminate inefficient ductwork usually associated with central AC/HVAC systems. 
  • Variable speed fan motors save significantly in terms of energy consumption costs due their ability to adjust operation according to current internal temperature needs.
  • Hybrid heating options combine boilers / baseboard elements alongside utilizing existing warm air furnace duct work resulting in maximum efficiency output under various load demands throughout changing climate seasons. 
  • Ground source (geothermal) technologies allow access to reliable warmth (in winter periods) while simultaneously providing simultaneous cooling capabilities during summertime activities via underground pipes exchanging thermodynamics seasonally between earth’s core & surface soil temperatures.


Proper sizing according to local climate conditions will help prolong the life of either an air source or ground source heat pump while installing correctly and using quality HVAC technicians helps keep them running efficiently all year round.

Heat Pump