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4 Things to Consider Prior to Repairing or Replacing a Heat Pump

Repair or Replace My Heat PumpAs heat pumps become older, it is not abnormal to encounter problems such as strange noises and odors. If your heat pump is distributing cold air in your house during the winter season, this is a sign of a problem with your system. To help you determine whether or not it’s time to repair or replace your heat pump, we will be discussing average life cycles, seasonal energy efficiency ratings (SEER), repair fees, and the cost to replace a heat pump.

Homeowner Question

“I am the owner of a single-family house with a 15-year-old heat pump. Recently the unit stopped defrosting. I had a service technician come to inspect the unit. He said the electronic board that controls the defrost cycle is not working and must be replaced. The estimated cost is about $350. However, due to the advanced age of my heat pump, the service technician recommended replacing my entire unit — inside and outside.

Cost to Replace a Heat Pump

The total cost of performing a heat pump replacement varies from $5,000 to $7000 depending on the manufacturer and model. Generally speaking, investing in a new energy-efficient heat pump will help reduce your monthly utility bills. In addition, the latest systems for sale on the market are designed to provide superior airflow in the winter and summer.

Life Cycle of a Heat Pump

An average heat pump is engineered with a life cycle that ranges from 10 to 12 years depending on the total amount of maintenance you perform. Do not attempt to repair a heat pump that is over 12 years old. While it may be possible to temporarily restore the operation of your heat pump, it’s only a matter of time until other parts and components start to fail.  If your heat pump 15 years old, we recommend purchasing a new heat pump for a couple of reasons.

Repair or Replace Heat PumpEnergy Consumption of a Heat Pump

Unlike a furnace or central air conditioner, a heat pump is required to provide you with warm air in the winter and cold air in the summer. Since your heat pump fulfills a demanding task, it will not last for 30 years. Those furnaces (that you eye enviously) that last over 30 years are only working less than half the time the heat pump does.

When I see a heat pump that is 12 years old working well, I always say the good news is that it’s still working. On the other hand, the bad news is that a heat pump becomes less efficient as it becomes older. While it may be possible to repair an old heat pump, it will continue to consume an excess amount of electricity each month. This will cause the total cost of your utility bills to increase.

SEER Ratings

The term SEER is short for Seasonal Energy Efficiency Rating. A SEER rating is designed to the efficiency of your heat pump system during the winter and summer seasons. To calculate a SEER rating, you will be required to compare the production of cold air by the heat pump system during the summer season to the total amount of electricity it consumers in Watt-Hours. The average SEER rating of a new heat pump varies from 13 to 25.

The SEER rating is usually located on the side of the heat pump. The higher the number, the more efficient the heat pump is. Your 15-year-old unit is probably 10 SEER or less. Since January 23, 2006, every unit sold in the U.S. is required to have a minimum SEER rating of 13 or higher. To increase the efficiency of heat pumps, engineers started to use a new type of refrigerant a couple of years ago. In addition, the configuration of heat pumps has been adjusted to reduce electricity consumption.

Related Article: What Is An Air Conditioner SEER Rating?

Repair or Replace Heat PumpShould I Repair or Replace the Heat Pump?

Pouring money into performing repairs on an old heat pump is not economical in the short or the long run. As the internal parts start to fail, you will be required to spend anywhere from $200 to $350 to maintain your heat pump system. While it may be possible to fix an old heat pump, the repairs will only temporary restore the flow of air in your household. Our team of certified technicians offer reliable HVAC repair and replacement services for heat pumps, furnaces, and central air conditioners. Give our team of licensed technicians a call by phone at (302) 367-7915 to schedule a heating or air conditioning appointment. We have witnessed homeowners spend hundreds of dollars on old heat pumps only to be required to replace it. Don’t waste money on countless repairs and high electricity bills.

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