How long should a heat pump last before needing repairs?


The average life of a residential builder-grade heat pump is 14 years.

Commercial grade heat pumps tend to last a bit longer.

Less expensive, off-brand heat pumps do not last as long and tend to breakdown before the brand name models.

Climate and ongoing maintenance have the two most significant impacts on how long a heat pump will last. Virginia has a moderate climate, so it is possible to get by without a furnace, as long as your heat pump is equipped with some form of supplemental heat.

Doesn’t It Get Too Cold for a Heat Pump in Richmond?

According to U.S. climate data, there were only 25 days last winter in which the temperature in Richmond dropped below 25° Fahrenheit. The overall average temperature in January 2016 was 35.75°, and that was the coldest month of winter.

Modern heat pumps continue running effectively at temperatures as low as 25 to 30 degrees. When the temperature drops below this threshold, supplemental heat from...

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A heat pump is a heating and cooling system that uses refrigerant to move heat from one place to another. The most common heat pumps are air-source models, which transfer heat between the inside and outside air. In warm weather, heat pumps divert the heat from inside your home to outdoors. In cold weather, they do the opposite. While they’re an extremely efficient way to heat or cool a building, you can’t expect a heat pump to last its expected service life of 15 years or more unless regular maintenance is conducted.

A geothermal heat pump is another variety that’s becoming increasingly popular. For heating, it draws heat energy from several feet underground where the temperatures stay moderate year round, and brings it inside. In the summer, it rejects heat from the home back into the ground.

The average life expectancy of an air-source heat pump is 15 years, while geothermal models, which don’t use an outside condenser/compressor, can last as long as 25. For each...

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The boom around heat pumps in Halifax and across Nova Scotia is still pretty new. If you search homes with heat pumps around HRM you won’t find too many with units that are 10+ years old. In saying that there are many heat pumps in Canada and the US that were installed during late 70’s & early 80’s which are still going strong producing heat for the home. The lifespan of an air source heat pump can be 20+ years.

It’s not a question that every homeowner asks, but it comes up often enough. How long will a heat pump last me? It’s a valid concern, especially since some homeowners finance the purchase and install of their unit. This post will look at how long a heat pump generally can be expected to last and also compare that with electric baseboards and oil fired furnaces.

One of the benefits heat pumps have going for them is they have few moving parts. This means low maintenance for the life of the unit.

So how does this compare with say electric baseboard heaters...

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Small parts on a car's engine are often easy to overlook, but those components are often some of the most important to keep everything running properly. In the case of keeping your engine cool, the water pump is an effective and integral part of the process. But how long can you expect it to last?

The water pump endures constant use inside an engine and allows the engine to endure the intense heat that internal combustion produces. When your engine is on, the water pump circulates coolant, or antifreeze, in the cylinder head and the engine block to cool the engine down. After the coolant passes through the engine it's sent back into the radiator to be cooled before entering the engine again.

When it comes to water pump longevity, they actually tend to last a long time. It's recommended that your engine's water pump be replaced when the timing belt is serviced. Water pumps are driven by the timing belt, or an accessory drive belt that spins a pulley outside of the pump...

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Depending upon the number of its Power On Hours, Proper Fitment and Handling, the estimated duty cycle of a Desktop PC's Hard Drive may vary from 3-10 years.

In comparison an external Hard Drive is generally Powered On for fewer Hours, operates at a lower speed of 5400 rpm (to prevent damage to its Media and Heads while in use) but is subjected to more abuse in terms of shock, vibration and movement.

Keeping in view the shock, vibration and movement which an external Hard Drive is generally subjected to, an external hard drive should be replaced within 3 years.

It would also be a good idea to periodically test the external Hard Drive for Errors using its Manufacturer's Utilities or the Disk Error Check Utility in Windows (My Computer >> Hard Disk Drives >> Disk Properties >> Tools >> Error-checking >> Check-now)

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Central heating systems are an energy-efficient way to heat all of the rooms in your home. The main component of these systems is typically kept in an out-of-the-way location, such as your basement, so it’s easy to forget about it until a problem arises. Central heating systems have a long service life, but failing to provide maintenance or ignoring problems can cause your heating system to die before its time.

Central Heating Explained

In a central heating system, air or water is heated at a central location and then sent throughout the interior of your home via ductwork and vents or pipes and radiators. This provides heat to multiple rooms from a single source. There are several types of central heating systems available, including boilers fueled by gas, oil or solar energy, or electric, gas or oil furnaces.

Average Lifespan

Because central heating systems come in a range of types and are powered by different fuel sources, the average lifespan...

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Like all good things, heat pumps don’t last forever. Look for these three signs that it’s time to replace the outdated heat pump in your Plano, Texas, home.

Indoor Temperatures Are Inconsistent at Best

No matter the weather, your heat pump should keep your family comfortable. After all, it serves as your heating system in the winter and your cooling system in the summer.

Most heat pumps last an average of 12 t0 15 years, which means once it approaches the 10-year mark, its operation and efficiency might start to suffer. If your once comfortable home starts to experience inconsistent temperatures or uncomfortable levels of humidity, your heat pump is probably nearing the end of its lifespan.

Repairs Don’t Last Long

Even well-maintained heat pumps require repairs from time to time, especially as they age. If you’ve made the smart decision to purchase a preventive maintenance package from Bill Joplin’s, our experienced technicians can even...

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Surface preparation and paint quality are the most important determinants of a paint's life expectancy. Ultraviolet (UV) rays via sunshine can shorten life expectancy. Additionally, conditions of high humidity indoors or outdoors can affect the lifespan of these components, which is why they should be inspected and maintained seasonally.



Caulking (interior & exterior)

5 to 10

Construction Glue


Paint (exterior)

7 to 10

Paint (interior)

10 to 15

Roofing Adhesives/Cements





3 to 8

Appliance life expectancy depends to a great extent on the use it receives. Furthermore, consumers often replace appliances long before they become worn out due to changes in styling, technology and consumer preferences.



Air Conditioner (window)

5 to 7


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Expert advice on how to fix heat pump problems, such as heating or cooling poorly and more.

Need help NOW? Get a heat pump repair pro fast!

Heat pump failures are often caused by thermostat malfunctions. To test your thermostat and fix any problems, see

Thermostat Repairs

. If your home is heated by a furnace instead of a heat pump, please see

Furnace Troubleshooting & Repairs


If your heat pump does not heat or cool properly, freezes up, or cycles off and on too frequently, this article can help. Following are some typical problems that heat pumps can have, along with step-by-step advice for troubleshooting them and making the appropriate fixes.

If your heat pump needs to be restarted at low temperatures, check your owner’s manual. For models with a system selector switch, turn the switch to Emergency Heat and wait six hours. Then return the switch to the normal setting.

If the heat doesn’t come on even when the thermostat is...

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The Most Reliable Heating Contractor Birmingham Has to Offer

As anyone living in Alabama knows, things can get downright chilly here in the winter. When you are left without heat, it can be a miserable experience.

While the need for heating may not be every day, it’s important to have your system in proper working order during winter’s chilly nights and early mornings.

Brown Heating and Cooling understands the importance of having a heating system that is efficient and reliable. We offer a variety of heater services in Birmingham. Our heater services include both residential and commercial repairs, replacement and maintenance.

Are you feeling a little chilly? If your heater isn’t working the way it should, give us a call at (205) 871-8111 to schedule an appointment. A broken heater in the dead of winter is an emergency, so a technician will likely be able to see you on the same-day.

Heater Repair in Birmingham

We pride ourselves on...

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Heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems that are properly maintained tend to last anywhere from 15 to 25 years. Believe it or not, your thermostat is the one component that will last the longest. It can last up to 35 years, if new technology doesn’t necessitate a replacement. Here are the average life spans of your heating and air conditioning components:

Furnaces: 15 to 20 years Heat Pumps: 16 years Air Conditioning units - 10 to 15 years Tankless water heaters - more than 10 years

Even though your air conditioner won’t last a lifetime, it pays to purchase now rather than risk having your old unit die on you mid-summer. If your unit is over 10 years old and you’ve seen an increase in your energy bills, you may want to look into the new units with higher efficiency ratings.

As of the first of this year, the minimum standard Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio, or SEER rating for heating and cooling systems has increased in the southern region. The rating,...

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A heat pump is a device that can either heat or cool a home by moving heat from one source to another. In warm weather, it diverts the heat from your home to outdoors. In cold weather, the opposite occurs. It is an extremely efficient way to heat or cool a building.

The life expectancy of a heat pump depends on several factors, such as the type of heat pump, your location, and how well the heat pump is maintained. Heat pumps normally last an average of 15 years, though some can wear out after a decade. Some of the newer units being manufactured today can last a bit longer.

The factor most important in determining the lifespan of your heat pump is maintenance. There are some steps you can take to ensure that your heat pump is well-maintained, which will help extend its life. For example:

Ice can build up on the outdoor coil, causing frost, and can impede the pump’s ability to provide heat. Check to make sure that its defrost cycle is working properly. Replace or...
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Depending on locale, the costs for heating and cooling your home can take up a significant portion of your household operating budget. The experts at Energy Star estimate that as much as half of the energy a typical home uses may be devoted to maintaining a comfortable interior temperature.

When shopping for HVAC components, it only makes sense that outstanding energy efficiency might be the most desired characteristic. However, you may also want to consider the equipment's expected longevity. After all, purchasing many HVAC components can be a major investment.

New HVAC components: How long should they last?

There are many variables that come into play when estimating how long a particular HVAC component might function. One of the biggest issues you have little control over: your local climate. An air conditioning compressor in south Florida or Arizona is probably going to get much more use than the same unit installed in Maine or Wisconsin. Just the...

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Certain telltale signs indicate it's time to consider replacing heating and cooling equipment, or improving the performance of your overall system. It may be time to call a professional contractor to help you make a change if:

Your heat pump or air conditioner is more than 10 years old.

Consider replacing it with a unit that has earned the ENERGY STAR label. Installed correctly, these high-efficiency units can save up to 20 percent on heating and cooling costs.

Your furnace or boiler is more than 15 years old.

Consider replacing with an ENERGY STAR qualified furnace, which is 15% more efficient than a conventional furnace. If you have a boiler, consider replacing with an ENERGY STAR qualified boiler that is 5% more efficient than a new, standard model.

Your equipment needs frequent repairs and your energy bills are going up.

Your cooling or heating equipment my have become less efficient.

Some rooms in your home are too hot or...

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How does a heat pump work?
What does a heat pump’s HSPF efficiency rating mean, and how can it be compared to the AFUE ratings of gas heating systems?
What is the difference between an air source and a ground source (geothermal) heat pump?
Are heat pumps new?
What is the warranty on a heat pump system? How long can it be expected to last?
What is Puron?
How is a heat pump installed? How long does it take?
How much energy will a heat pump use cooling the house in the summer?
How much noise does a heat pump make?

How does a heat pump work?

A heat pump is essentially an air conditioner that can also run in reverse. Both rely on the fact that a liquid absorbs heat as it is vaporized into a gas and that a gas releases heat as it condenses into a liquid. When in heating mode, a substance called a refrigerant will be compressed by the main component in a heat pump, the compressor. As it is compressed, it will release heat as it...

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The temperature in the house is fine, but the indoor fan runs all the time. What's wrong?

Sometimes homeowners turn the fan switch to "On" versus "Auto" which causes the indoor fan to run continuously. Turn the switch to "Auto" and the fan should stop running continuously.

Is there any advantage to setting my thermostat fan to "On" so the fan runs constantly?

Yes, there are a couple. The first is that you get constant filtering of the air in your home. The second is that because the air is moving, you have a more even temperature throughout the home. However, continuous fan mode during the cooling season may not be appropriate in humid climates. If the inside of your home feels uncomfortably humid, it is recommended that the fan be used in "Auto" mode.

Why is a matched system important?

A matched system is important for a variety of reasons. One is comfort. When all our components are properly sized to your...

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The problem with trying to guess how much time your furnace has left before repair expenses outweigh replacement costs is that most heaters don't show many signs of problems before they quit working entirely. The best way to save yourself the headache of an emergency replacement is to begin preparing to buy a new furnace as your old one approaches the end of its anticipated lifespan.

Time's Up

Generally speaking, a furnace can be expected to last between 15 and 20 years. This average varies, of course, based on the quality of the unit, how it's used and whether it has been properly maintained. It can also depend on the specific type of unit, with forced air systems with a heat pump at the lower end of the range (at around 15 years), and gas- or oil-fueled models coming in at around 18 years. If your model is more than 25 years old, it's probably very near the end of its useful life, and it's time to start planning to replace...

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During winter months many heat pumps will need to go through a “defrost” cycle during operation. Often this has not been explained well before installation, which leads to a lot of confusion about why the heat pump is not working. This document is provided to help users understand the defrosting cycle and address any concerns.

What is a “defrost cycle”?

In heating mode a heat pump extracts heat from the outside air and transfers it inside your premises to warm it. When the ambient temperature outside gets very cold (close to 0°C or below) the moisture in the air freezes on the outdoor unit’s heat exchanger as the fan blows the air across it. A defrost cycle is simply the system recognising that ice has formed or begun to form and automatically fixing this.

Why does my unit have to do a defrost cycle?

Any ice building up on the outside heat exchanger reduces the airflow across it, which will effect the efficiency, sometimes reducing it dramatically. In...

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Many homes traditionally use a combination of heating and air conditioning technologies to supply a complete heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) system. As an alternative, a single Lennox heat pump can supply all of the heating and cooling a homeowner living in a moderate climate needs, saving both money and space in the process.

How heat pumps work

Lennox heat pumps work much like an air conditioner (AC) during warmer months. A Lennox heat pump removes warm air from within the home and carries it outside where it’s dissipated.

As the weather cools, the process is reversed, with the heat pump extracting warm air from the outside and bringing it indoors.

In warmer regions, the heat pump is combined with an air handler that circulates the air throughout the home. While in colder regions, the pump is combined with a furnace that both circulates the air and provides additional heating when needed.

Energy efficiency

Lennox heat...

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