Should I Repair Or Replace My Heat Pump?

Heat pump systems are beneficial to homes in Phoenix, because of the many benefits the unit can offer. Heat pumps can provide heating and cooling for your home and maintain comfort using the same system year-round. However, this process means heat pumps work constantly each season to ensure your home comfort remains. While the system is designed for a large workload, it will break down at some point in the future. In this article, we discuss factors to consider when deciding whether to replace or repair your heat pump in Phoenix, AZ and surrounding areas.

How Long Do Heat Pumps Last?

Repairing may seem like the easiest and cheapest option, but it is not always the best solution for your home. Heat pumps can last anywhere between 10-15 years depending on the maintenance given. Ways to increase your heat pump’s lifespan include:

  • Regular Heat Pump Maintenance With Olive Air
  • Change Air Filters Every 3 Months
  • Ensuring Unit Is Clean & Clear
  • Sealing & Insulating Your Home

Factors To Consider

Deciding between repairing and replacing your heat pump is a big decision for your home. When your heat pump breaks down, many want the fastest and cheapest option. However, a breakdown is a good time to evaluate the efficiency of your heat pump and decide what is best for your home. Both repairing and replacing have benefits and drawbacks, and can keep your home a comfortable environment. Below are five factors to consider when deciding whether to repair or replace your heat pump in Gilbert, AZ and surrounding areas.

  • Age
  • Cost Of Repair
  • Frequent Repairs
  • Utility Bills
  • Home Comfort


As we mentioned, heat pumps typically last anywhere between 10-15 years. Much like any appliance, heat pumps decrease in efficiency as the system ages. Heat pumps provide both heating and cooling, which can wear down parts each season. If your heat pump is nearing the 15 year mark, it could be best to replace it if your system has broken down. Aging heat pumps are less reliable and have a higher risk of breaking down at an inconvenient time. Additionally, new heat pumps can improve efficiency and save on monthly costs.

When To Repair: Your heat pump has broken down, but still works efficiently and is under 10 years old.

When To Replace: You are experiencing a heat pump breakdown, and your system is nearing 15 years old. Additionally, replace if your aging heat pump has become less energy efficient.

Cost Of Repair

When your heat pump breaks down, we encourage you to pay attention to the cost of repair. We understand the logic behind choosing the cost of repair rather than the cost of replacement, but it may not be the most cost effective solution in the long run. We recommend homeowners use the “$5,000 rule.” The “$5,000 rule” multiplies the age of your heat pump by the cost of the repair. If the total is less than $5,000, repair could be the best option. If the total exceeds $5,000, replacement could be the smartest option.

When To Repair: You need to repair your heat pump and the cost is less than $5,000 when using the “$5,000 rule.”

When To Replace: Replacement is the best option when the cost of repair exceeds $5,000 using the “$5,000 rule.”

At Olive Air, one of our core values is honesty. Our technicians will always help make an honest decision to best benefit you and your home. Let us help decide if it is time to repair or replace!

Frequent Repairs

Repairing a heat pump that has frequent repairs is similar to putting a bandage on a much larger problem. When faced with the decision of repairing or replacing, we encourage homeowners to consider past repairs. Ask yourself:

  • How often have I had to repair my heat pump?
  • Were they expensive repairs?
  • Will this repair last?

While repair may be the most cost effective option upfront, continuing to repair could be more costly in the long run. Frequent repairs often indicate an internal problem that will lead to replacement eventually.

When To Repair: We recommend repairing your heat pump if the repair is minor and cost effective.

When To Replace: We recommend replacing if you experience frequent repairs and discomfort in your home.

Utility Bills

If you are experiencing a heat pump breakdown, consider your recent utility bills. Heat pumps needing to be replaced often use more energy to operate and raise utility bills. Choosing to repair when your heat pump may be heightening energy costs can be a more expensive option in the long run. Your home comfort doesn’t have to be expensive, and replacing can ensure your unit remains efficient!

When To Repair: Homeowners should repair their heat pump if utility bills are normal and an Olive Air technician recommends repair.

When To Replace: We recommend replacing if your energy bills have spiked recently due to your heat pump’s operation.

Home Comfort

Have you been experiencing uneven temperatures around your home? Some spots may be warmer than others, which can indicate your heat pump isn’t effectively heating your home! If you are experiencing a breakdown, consider your home comfort. An aging furnace may struggle to meet the thermostat settings and sacrifice your comfort.

When To Repair: Repair your heat pump if it effectively and affordably heats and cools your home.

When To Replace: Replace your heat pump if you experience a decrease in home comfort due to an internal unit issue.

There are many situations where repairing your heat pump is the best and easiest decision for your home. However, repairing may not be the most cost effective solution in the future. We encourage you to consider these factors when deciding whether to repair or replace your heat pump. Our trained technicians can help make the decision and process a breeze! Give us a call for heat pump repair or replacement services in Phoenix, AZ and surrounding areas.

What Is The Difference Between A Furnace & A Heat Pump?

When temperatures drop in Phoenix, your home needs a reliable heating system to ensure your comfort. Whether you are looking to replace or install a new heating system, we suggest considering a furnace or heat pump. Both units can keep your home at a comfortable temperature, while providing several benefits. In this blog, we discuss everything you need to know about furnaces and heat pump systems in Gilbert, Arizona and surrounding areas.

Furnaces vs. Heat Pumps

We don’t expect you to be the heating unit experts, that is what we are here for! If you are looking to replace your heating system with a furnace or heat pump, it is important to understand the operational process of both systems and how they differ. The main difference between heat pumps and furnaces is how each unit produces heat for your home. Below we will explain how furnaces and heat pumps operate.

How Do Furnaces Work?

Furnaces are complex systems with many components. The main components of a furnace unit include the burner, heat exchanger, blower, pilot light, and thermostat. Much like a puzzle, you must have all the pieces for the final product. Each component is required to effectively and efficiently heat your home. Pilot lights are always lit and should remain blue. This flame ignites the burner and begins the heating process. Depending on the fuel source, the furnace burns the fuel source inside the burner and generates heat. Heat is then passed onto the heat exchanger, where cold air is heated. The blower pushes the warm air in the heat exchanger into the ducts to be distributed throughout your home. This process is repeated until the thermostat setting is met.

There are four main types of furnaces: natural gas, electric, oil, and propane. All have similar operational processes, but use different fuel sources.

Natural Gas Furnace: Gas furnaces are the most common type of furnace, because of the affordability and fast heating.

Electric Furnace: Electric furnaces can provide quality home heating without producing harmful greenhouse gasses. However, electric furnaces can raise heating bills for some homes.

Oil Furnace: Oil furnaces are beneficial, because the unit can produce more heat while consuming less energy. Oil furnaces are less common due to the cost of oil.

Propane Furnace: Propane furnaces burn clean and non toxic, but produce fewer British Thermal Units (BTUs) per gallon when compared to oil heating.

How Do Heat Pumps Work?

While furnaces generate heat, heat pumps simply transfer heat from one location to another. The main components of a heat pump include refrigerant, compressor, reversing valve, expansion valve, indoor air handler, and an outdoor unit. If one of these components is obstructed, the whole heating system can suffer. The compressor circulates refrigerant for it to absorb and release heat between the indoor and outdoor units. The expansion valve controls the amount of refrigerant released. Depending on the type of heat pump, the unit draws heat energy from the outside source and transfers it into the system. From there, refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air. The heat is sent into the air ducts and distributed throughout your home. This cycle continues until the thermostat setting is met.

Contrary to its misleading name, heat pumps can provide both heating and cooling. The term “heat” in the name refers to the process of transferring heat, which is done in both summer and winter months. In the summer the operational process is simply flipped using the reversing valve. Heat pumps draw heat energy from inside your home and transfer it to the outdoor source.

There are three types of heat pumps: air source, water source, and ground source. All types have similar operational processes and components, but vary in slight ways such as the heat energy source.

Air Source Heat Pump: Air source heat pumps draw heat energy from the air and relocate it outside or inside depending on the season. Air source heat pumps are the most common type, because of the easy installation process.

Water Source: Water source heat pumps draw heat from a nearby lake or pond. Heat is moved through an interconnected water loop and either rejected or absorbed depending on the season.

Ground Source: Ground source heat pumps absorb heat from the ground and can be highly efficient for both summer and winter. Ground temperatures in the winter are warmer than the air and vice versa in the summer, which enhances efficiency when transferring heat.

Benefits Of Furnaces

Furnace systems can provide many advantages to your home. Below we have listed 4 benefits of installing a furnace in Phoenix.

  • Fast Heating. Furnaces can quickly heat your home and restore comfort quickly after adjusting the thermostat.
  • Affordable. When compared to other heating systems, furnaces can be an affordable up front purchase and have low maintenance costs.
  • Reliable. If properly maintained, furnaces are a reliable option to smoothly get you through the winter season.
  • Long Lifespan. A new furnace is an investment, but the unit will have a long lifespan between 15-20 years if proper care is given.

Benefits Of Heat Pumps

Similar to furnaces, heat pump systems can present many different advantages. Below are 4 of the many benefits to heat pumps in Gilbert, Arizona and surrounding areas.

  • Environmentally Friendly. Heat pumps do not burn fossil fuels to produce heat or release harmful gasses into the environment. Installing a heat pump can benefit the environment and lower your carbon footprint.
  • Energy Efficient. Due to the process of transferring heat rather than generating it, heat pumps use less energy to heat your home.
  • Provides Both Heating And Cooling. Heat pumps can keep your home comfortable year round by providing both heating and cooling. This allows a flexible option for weather fluctuations in Arizona.
  • Less Maintenance. Heat pumps use the same components for both summer and winter months, which can cut down on maintenance and repairs.

Both heat pumps and furnaces are a great heating option for your home. If you are interested in installing a heat pump or furnace in Phoenix and surrounding areas, give us a call! Our expert technicians specialize in heating unit replacement and installations and can help keep your home comfortable this season.

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