Heat pumps are a staple in most homes, especially when winter can get extremely cold and windy. A heat pump can provide your home with years of reliable heating and energy-efficient comfort. However, even the best heat pumps can’t last forever.
Due to their price, replacing a heat pump is something you want to prepare for so you won’t find yourself surprised with the cost.
Early recognition of telltale signs that point to a failing heat pump can help you get ahead of the problem. It allows you to research new unit options and have them installed before your old one breaks down and leaves your home uncomfortable.
If you’re interested in reducing or eliminating the cost of a new heat pump installation, they say that some local governments offer significant rebates. Some companies even offer a free heat pump upgrade or other incentives.
So, how can you tell if your heat pump needs to be retired?
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It Reached Its Recommended Life Span
Like most appliances and systems, a heat pump has a recommended life span for its service. In general, it can serve you for 10-15 years. If your heat pump is way past that and is still working fine, you might be wondering why you should replace it.
You don’t want a heat pump to be ‘just working.’ By replacing your old heat pump with a newer, higher-efficiency unit, you could save more on your heating costs.
Moreover, unlike other HVAC systems, a heat pump works all year round. Thus, it’s only a matter of time before it starts to cause you some trouble.
There’s A Spike In Your Energy Bills
Heat pumps may be more energy-efficient than other HVAC systems; however, they probably use more energy per year than any other appliance or system in your home.
When a heat pump reaches the point where it will no longer function as efficiently as before, it will cause a significant spike in your electrical bills.
That said, between the rising cost of electricity and other appliances and system in your household, how do you know if your heat pump is the culprit for the sudden increase? You can do an energy audit to help you monitor and manage energy use and determine the efficiency of your appliances.
If your energy spike points to your heat pump, you can try some repairs. However, if none of the repairs can bring your bills down, then consider finding a new, modern unit with better energy efficiency.
It Requires Frequent Repairs
You’ll need heat pump repairs once in a while. Yet if you’re calling a heat pump technician more often than usual, it’s a sign that something’s wrong and your unit may need replacement.
A heat pump in good condition will only need servicing once or twice a year—before the hot and cold seasons start. You may call an expert for this and other additional services. However, if it occurs more frequently, especially when the unit is well past its prime, it’s a significant sign to replace your unit.
It Needs Major Repairs
Aside from frequent repairs, you may need to look for another unit if it demands major, costly repairs, especially if it’s only a few years old.
Some of these repairs typically involve the compressor, evaporator coils, blower motors, ductwork, and the control board or electronics. Frankly, there’s no need to spend more money on such repairs when you can just easily order a new, better-quality heat pump
It Isn’t Performing Well
As your heat pump gets older, its performance will gradually drop as parts start to wear out. If you notice that your heat pump doesn’t seem to keep up with your home’s usual cooling and heating demands, creating discomfort inside your home, then it may be a sign to retire your unit.
Of course, you may only need to replace the filters, so ensure you check everything that could potentially reduce your unit’s performance. However, if you recently serviced the unit and it still doesn’t provide the expected output, it’s a clear sign you should start looking for a replacement.
Your heat pump is one of the most critical systems in your home, especially if you live in cold areas. Typically, heat pumps will serve you faithfully for years. Yet as we all know, nothing lasts forever.
Once you notice any telltale sign discussed here, call a technician to check your heat pump immediately. Be prepared to order a replacement so you won’t have to suffer uncomfortable indoor temperatures when your current unit finally gives up.