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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Posts
    12

    Heat Pump Life Expectancy

    I have a friend who is going to purhcase a used home approximately 20 years old. He asked me to inpsect for structural integrity and I did. I looked over the Heat Pump and furnace and they are both original to the house (20Years Old). I suggested he have an HVAC contractor inpsect for him, but I am curious I would have to think he would be on borrowed time with a 20 year furnace and heatpump. What would a reasonable life expectancy be for the average unit. I really do not know how well they were maintatined either. Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2004
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    6,837

    Old Heat Pump

    Well there are some things to consider with a 20-year old heat pump or air conditioner or gas furnace. Right up front, if it were my purchase, I'd want either new equipment or a good concession on the purchase price of the home so I could buy new myself. Having said that, if no one is going to move on the price and no one is going to put in new right now but would rather play the odds, I'd advise against spending anything over $100 on repairs for such an old system. Also to keep in mind is that the efficiency of the heat pump is well below todays standards and will be costly to operate. As for a 20-year old gas furnace, I think just plain old logic dictates that there be a new one before winter sets in this year.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2003
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    9,548
    I think your advise of a thorough system inspection of the hvac system by a reputable contractor is in order,including the duct system, so you know what you have right up front. A 20yr old system can work fine depending on condition and area of country you're in, but as stated earlier don't sink large repair $$$ into it. It is a price negotiating factor also, but a credible report will help you there.
    If everything was always done "by the book"....the book would never change.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    SC
    Posts
    930
    Inspect well. If the system has been problem free and well maintained, it will beat the odds. In fact, it has already beat the odds. To me, it's kinda like betting on when people will croak. We all know the average lifespan is in the high 70's. We also know people who slam dunk won't make it that far. But we know others we expect to live well past that based on past and current performance.
    Having said all that, 20 years is old for a heatpump. Even if it is still running well, it is not efficient. A new, efficient SYSTEM will undoubtedly require new ductwork too. So figure that into the asking price.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    Tampa, Florida
    Posts
    1,634
    Call in an HVAC contractor to do a full evaluation on the system. Depending on what he finds, you might be able to get the seller to knock a few more $$$$ off the house to cover what it's going to cost to replace the HP. Regardless of the climate, I wouldn't feel comfortable going into a summer or winter with a 20 year old HP. It's beyond ripe.

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