A heat pump is a very efficient device that performs both heating and cooling. It accomplishes this by transferring heat from your home to the outdoors in warm weather, and transferring it in the opposite direction in cold weather. As a rule of thumb, an air-source heat pump, the most common variety, can last about 15 years, but that estimate can be raised or lowered significantly, depending on several factors.
Because they combine the functionality of heating and cooling, heat pumps can be an ideal home comfort solution, though during our cold Northeast Ohio winters you’ll likely have to depend on the backup heating system (either electric resistance coils or a gas furnace) that works in tandem with the heat pump. This is because when the temperature dips below freezing, air-source heat pumps have difficulty removing sufficient heat from the cold outside air to provide comfortable heating inside.
Heat Pump Life Expectancy Factors
- Of course, a heat pump that gets a lot of use won’t last as long as one that doesn’t. In the Cleveland area, with our hot summers and cold winters, your heat pump likely will get a good workout nearly year round.
- While Air-source heat pumps are by far the most popular, geothermal (or ground-source) heat pumps are gaining in popularity. Since these heat pumps don’t employ an outside unit that’s exposed to the elements, they will last longer than the air-source models, which typically have a condenser/compressor unit in the yard.
- Location is a big factor, because in climate extremes, a great deal of stress is placed on the outside unit.
- Regularity and thoroughness of maintenance can add significant longevity to a heat pump. This means both semi-annual professional maintenance for a heat pump that’s used for both cooling and heating, and regular homeowner maintenance, such as inspecting and change air filters.
How to Ensure Longer Heat Pump Life
- In cooler weather, ensure that the defrost cycle works properly and monitor any build-up of ice or frost on the outside coil, because it will hinder the heat pump’s ability to provide heat.
- Make sure that air filters are inspected monthly and replaced or cleaned when dirty.
- The fins on the outdoor condenser unit must be kept clean.
- Make sure that coils are kept clean and free of debris.
- Plant growth near the outdoor unit must not be allowed to grow within 18 inches of the unit, or it will interfere with needed air flow.
Geisel Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing has been serving the Greater Cleveland area for more than 75 years now, and we’ve become experts in all areas of home comfort. Let us use that expertise to discuss and help you with any of your home comfort issues. Stop in at one of our area offices, call us, or contact us through our website.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Cleveland, Ohio about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about heat pumps and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
For those Do it Yourselfers who would rather take control of your own indoor comfort, you can shop our online store for replacement parts, products and accessories!
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