Heat pumps are considerably long-lasting. In the past, their average life expectancy was around 15 years, but thanks to several technological developments, modern units currently last around 20-25 years before they need replacing.
The long life of a heat pump is attributed to their design – there isn’t that much that can go wrong, particularly with newer models. Their lifespan may vary depending on model and manufacturer, and whilst having a maintenance contract in place may help to prolong their efficiency and life expectancy, they’re not strictly necessary.
Compared to other types of heating, heat pumps are the clear winners in terms of their longevity. The importance of this cannot be understated, as the nature of the RHI scheme is to recoup enough funds so that after 7 years, the system will ultimately have costed no more than that of a new boiler (subject to performance). Oil, electric and gas boilers may only work for 10 – 12 years before their parts need replacing, parts which the manufacturer may well have stopped producing.
In most cases, the first thing to break is the compressor, which raises the temperature of the refrigerant within the heat pump. As this component rarely stands idle, it is prone to burn out over time so their breaking can’t be helped. Whether it’s better to simply replace the compressor or the whole unit will depend on how old your system is; if the heat pump is closer to 20 years old, it might be more economical to replace the entire system, considering the efficiency of newer models have increased.
The warranty of heat pumps vary from manufacturer to manufacturer, but it should cover 5 years for replacing any faulty parts and 1 year on the labour required to install these replacements.