What Is The Life Expectancy Of Your Heat Pump?

How long the average heat pump lasts and what factors can affect its lifespan

When a person is thinking about making a large purchase like a car, a home, or anything they will consistently use for years to come more often than not they will weigh the pro’s and con’s before committing to making any decisions.


This is no different with heat pumps.


And one of those pro’s and con’s that is often thought of first is “If I buy this, how long will it last?” 


A completely fair question when considering how much heat pumps cost.


But this isn’t a straightforward answer in most cases.


While most heat pumps offer a lifespan anywhere between 15-25 years, people often overlook some of the outside factors that can affect how long their heating system will last. 


What we have found over our 19 years in business is that there are three main factors that can affect the life of a unit. These factors include, the type of heat pump installed, your location and how well the heat pump is maintained.


Now you may be asking yourself “how do these factors affect the life of a heat pump that is simply there to regulate the temperature of my home?


So today we will be breaking down how these factors affect the lifespan of your heating system and how long you can expect your heating system to last.


How does unit choice affect the expected lifespan of a heat pump?


Just like with most things you buy there are many options available when it comes to purchasing a heat pump.


And just like almost anything else those options come in all different styles, price points and types. 


So how does unit choice affect the lifespan of a heat pump and how can you make the best choice for your needs?


Well it may seem a bit obvious but the first step should always be to do plenty of research before making any commitments.


There are hundreds of different heat pump manufacturers and making sure you choose the best available option will go a long way towards getting the most out of your new heating system. 


The best place to look for this data is consumer reports, since consumer reports does not accept funds from anyone except their own customers their reporting on products is able to be 100% unbiased.


Once you have done some research on what heat pump brands offer the best reliability the next best step is to reach out to your local heating company and talk to them about what options they provide.


Not all heat pump brands are available all the time, and the brands that you may be able to purchase can depend on where you live and what company you decide to work with.


With that said it is also important to shop around a bit, if you have your heart set on one specific brand of heat pump and the company you called first does not offer that brand chances are if you call around you will find a company that does!


At the end of the day however much like with vehicles, appliances, technology or even everyday home goods. In most cases the more expensive brands will offer a longer lifespan.

Because of this the more expensive heat pump brands such as Trane, Mitsubishi and American Standard will offer shorter warranties then the cheaper brands.


They know their products are built to last so their warranties usually aren’t as long as a manufacturer like Amana or Goodman who offer lifetime “limited” warranties for most products.


So in the end it more or less evens out, but if you are looking to “set it and forget it” in a way, spending the extra money for a quality heat pump is the way to go.


What does your location have to do with a heat pump’s lifespan?


For most people the heat pump brand you choose and how that can affect the lifespan of your heat pump is fairly self explanatory, but how does where you live play a role?


Living on the coast this is much more of a factor then living somewhere in the midwest so this won’t apply to all situations but in this case it is a major factor. 


If you live right off the ocean you are no doubt aware of how quickly the salty ocean air can eat through just about anything that is left outside for an extended period of time and heat pumps are no different. 


By corroding and rusting the parts of a heat pump causing it to work harder than usual, salty air can significantly shorten the lifespan of a heat pump by anywhere from 5-10 years when comparing it to a heat pump that is not in constant contact with ocean air.


How consistent maintenance can extend the lifespan of your heat pump


For most people living their daily lives unless their home is too hot or cold at any given moment they don’t think much about their heat pump throughout the day.


Which for the most part is no issue, they are made to keep your home at a consistent temperature all day long, the only time this becomes an issue is when one neglects to maintain their heat pump on a regular basis. 


What does heat pump maintenance do though and why do I need to have them done regularly?

Maintenance for a traditional heat pump is important because it serves to clean out the inside of your heat pump, and it can help to fix any minor issues before they become bigger, more expensive problems.


As one can imagine just like anything in your home, overtime dust can build up within your heat pump.


Now it may seem harmless at first but overtime if allowed to build up on the parts within the heat pump itself this can lead to increased wear on the parts within.


By increasing the wear on these individual parts within the unit things will begin to break down overtime, which leads us to our next point.


While heat pumps do have many parts within they are made to run every day and sometimes little things will go out causing your unit to be less efficient or maybe a bit noisier, basically it will just not run how it is intended too.


But it will still run.


Left for an extended period of time however these small problems can turn into much larger and more expensive problems.


With regular maintenance however these small problems can quickly be addressed before they are allowed to become a major issue.


Most HVAC companies will recommend you get maintenance done at least once a year, and we are no different.


Having maintenance done once a year will help to prevent any major problems from arising within your system and will make sure that everything stays nice and clean.


So how long will my heat pump last?


Putting an exact lifespan on a heat pump is almost impossible to do, but giving an expected range is fairly straightforward.


As we talked about earlier in this blog the expected lifespan of a heat pump is around 15-25 years.


While that is a big range one can narrow it down pretty easily by looking at the factors that we talked about throughout this article.


With that said however in our 19 years in business we have seen our fair share of brand new heat pumps that for one reason or another just give out, and that is what the warranty is for. So it is always important to have a good understanding of what warranties the system you are interested in comes with and what other options are available so you can make the right choice for you.


On that note, the next time you talk to your local HVAC company make sure to ask all the questions you need to get a full understanding of what warranties a unit comes with, what options they provide and how long you can expect a heat pump to last based on your situation.