We get the question quite often “How long will a heat pump last me?”
Here’s a recent email we received from a prospective new customer who asked:
I replied to this person via email, but afterward figured “Hey, this is probably a question lots of homeowners are wondering about”. So let’s turn it into a blog post.
The lifespan on a ductless heat pump is somewhere between 5 and 20+ years. I know a big spread.
What would cause one machine to last longer than another?
The machine quality is the first indicator of how long a heat pump will last. I’m not going to call out certain brands or models but similar to cars most of us have a “gut” feeling about what is high quality and what is low quality, right?
Higher quality machines are going to last longer as a rule of thumb.
What are some higher quality brands to consider? Fujitsu, Mitsubishi and Daikin are three to start with.
How can you know a machine will potentially last a long time?
Check out the warranty.
If a company offers a warranty of 12 years on something it is safe to assume that you are going to get at least 12 years of life out of the machine and likely more. Your car doesn’t stop working the day after the warranty ends right (well hopefully not)? Neither will your heat pump.
As an example, the Fujitsu brand ductless heat pumps come with a 12 Year Parts and 10 year Labor warranty when purchased through and installed by an Elite Dealer (Sunshine Renewable Energy is an Elite Fujitsu Dealer). This parts warranty also covers the compressor, the most expensive part of the machine.
Is Price an Indicator of Durability and Life Span of a Heat Pump?
Most high-quality brands are also the most efficient brands. If you’ve been researching heat pumps for any length of time you know that the most efficient brands are often the more expensive ones, so price is a reasonably good indicator of potential life span for a heat pump.
Some homeowners avoid purchasing one of the more expensive brands like the plague. The reasoning behind this most of the time is either:
- They believe a heat pump is a heat pump in terms of efficiency
- Price trumps future reliability for them
The math behind purchasing a less reliable and lower end unit.
Let’s say you have a weekend warrior (folks who install heat pumps on the side during evenings and weekends) install a machine. You pay $2,000 for them to install this machine. Let’s say the lifespan of this heat pump is somewhere in the 5 to 7-year range.
Now lets say you had a contractor like Sunshine Renewable Energy install a Fujitsu RLS3 heat pump for you and the cost was $4,000 but the expected life span is 12 to 14 years (see where I’m going with the math here).
Effectively the cost is a wash. You could potentially end up purchasing two of the lower end units over the lifespan of the Fujitsu machine. Not to mention the Fujitsu will provide more savings during the heating season than the lower end unit, so financially you could also be further ahead.