How Long Do Heat Pumps Last

Being a homeowner can be frustrating and rewarding at the same time. On one hand, you have this great home with a lot of love inside of it. On the other hand, you have appliances and equipment that can break or become damaged over time. Speaking of appliances and equipment, if you have a heat pump installed, make sure you conduct the proper maintenance. How long do heat pumps last? Heat pumps can last between 10 and 20 years. Longevity depends on the climate that you live in.

Let’s take a look below at some more details regarding heat pumps and how we can conduct some regular maintenance to maximize longevity.

What Are Heat Pumps

The functionality of heat pumps involves producing both hot and cold air as your HVAC system. Much like an air conditioner unit can produce hot or cold air, heat pumps are usually used longer during the year. Keep in mind that in saltwater areas, such as at our New Hampshire Seacoast, a heat pump has an average life expectancy of 15 years. The average lifespan of a heat pump in average weather conditions is 10 to 20 years.

Modern-day heat pump on a new home.
Modern-day heat pump on a new home.

Benefits Of A Heat Pump

Believe it or not, there are a few benefits to having a heat pump instead of an air conditioner. Let’s take a look:

  • Higher Efficiency – heat pumps use electricity to create the type of heating or cooling in your home. Because they don’t use fossil fuels to create heat, your utility bills could be a lot less.
  • More effective at heating and cooling – heat pumps are a one-stop shop for heating and cooling, even in our very cold New England climate. This makes them very effective and energy-efficient.
  • Less noise – due to how warm or cold air is created by the heat pump, the heat pump runs quieter than the fan of an air conditioner.

How Do I Know It’s Time To Replace

Just like with any appliance, you will know if a heat pump system needs to be replaced. There are three main areas to consider before replacing a heat pump. Let’s take a look.

  • Air quality – if you are experiencing a reduction in air quality, the heat pump is likely to need servicing. Rises in allergies, dust or the humidity in your home could be signs that your heat pump needs to go.
  • Breakdowns – if the heat pump begins to break down once in a while, it might be time to replace it. Make sure to identify a model that is specific to your homes square footage and appropriate for your region’s climate.
  • Bigger energy bills – once the heat pump begins to break down it becomes less effective. If it takes longer to hit your desired cooling or heating mark, then your heat pump is over using energy and will likely need to be replaced. You will need to pick out a newer more energy-efficient model.

Preventative Maintenance

Making sure that your heat pump does not break down in the most inopportune times is key. In order for this to be avoided, you need preventative regular maintenance. The following are examples of preventative maintenance for a heat pump.

  • Ensure that the defrost cycle works before you get a freeze. If the defroster isn’t working then you risk the outdoor coils freezing up and preventing your system from working.
  • Check and replace your air filters as often as your systems manufacturers instructs to.
  • Always clean the fins of your outside condenser unit.
  • Maintain clean coils.
  • Keep your landscaping meticulous, so that vegetation doesn’t grow into your outdoor unit.

Other Recommended Maintenance

As we get closer to summer, we want to make sure that our HVAC unit is working, along with our thermostat. Sometimes, we can have a bad thermostat in the home. This may be indicated by an HVAC that stays off, starts, and stops often, doesn’t turn on or off, or has false temperature readings.

Another area to take a look at is the AC window unit. Many homes will have one of these in a bedroom or other rooms as some areas of the home don’t cool as much as others. It is a good idea to keep it clean, especially before the warmer temperatures set in. You don’t need to take it out of the window to clean it and the instructions are easy for a homeowner to follow!

Lastly, you might find that there is mold in the air conditioner ducts. This can be caused by a moisture barrier that is created when the air in the air duct meets the air in the air conditioning unit. The only way to get rid of it is by calling a mold remediation contractor.

Heat pump repair man.
Heat pump repair man.

When Do I Call A Professional

Calling on a professional is important for servicing and maintaining your heat pump. They can ensure that your heat pump is working efficiently. Just like how you call an electrician to service your lights, fans, and outlets, you will want a professional HVAC service tech to take care of your heat pump. If you aren’t sure who to call, reach out to your local home inspection team.

They can assess your heat pump to determine if it needs any additional maintenance or repairs during their full home inspection. In addition, they can recommend the most reputable HVAC service tech in your area. Make sure to get a few quotes from a few different HVAC service companies prior to having the work done.


Getting a home inspection team to inspect your heat pump and other parts of the home is a great idea. They can ensure that your heating and cooling are being done efficiently. They can also test your plumbing and other electrical system items to ensure that your home’s energy is running efficiently.

If you have any heat pump concerns or just don’t know the best way to conduct maintenance on it, give your local home inspection team a call. Call on Twin States and they can inspect your heat pump during home inspections in the Twin State areas of VT, and NH.