We have installed a Hoval UltraSource B compact C (8.11/200) from 2021.

I have heard rumors that a heat pump must be completely replaced after 15 years, because a lot of high-tech and electronics that is then massively outdated. Is that about right?

  • 2
    Some have good conditions and last longer, some have hard conditions and fail sooner. Some get good maintenance and last longer, others don't get maintained very well and fail prematurely.
    – Solar Mike
    May 17, 2022 at 6:13
  • Most of my stuff would be considered outdated. It probably runs/works better than most of the new stuff. The newer stuff scares me since probably need replacement too often.
    – crip659
    May 17, 2022 at 10:00
  • Many people buy a new cell phone every 6-12 months because their old one is "outdated". However, that doesn't mean it's non-functional. They are of the opinion that they must have the latest and greatest. If you're of that opinion, you'll probably have to replace your heat pump in 2-3 years. If you're of the opinion that "it's still running and doing it's job", then you might not have to replace it for 15 or 20 or even 25 years, whenever it breaks and repairing it is more expensive than a more efficient replacement.
    – FreeMan
    May 17, 2022 at 11:49
  • Efficiency improvements are a good argument to replace before the technical end of life though. At similar reliability, if the difference in efficiency (and therefore the electricity consumption reduction) is large enough to offset the purchase price, then it might be worth it.
    – MiG
    May 17, 2022 at 14:59

1 Answer 1


We have been installing heat pumps for 70 years.

By and large they have been marketed as "air conditioners".

Yes. Those are heat pumps. For reasons which boggle me, very few were sold with the 1 additional part that would allow them to switch from A/C to heat. But the operating principle is exactly the same.

So I for one would expect longevity of heat pumps to resemble air conditioners.

Obsolescence has largely been about efficiency

And also changes in operating gas. You know, we started with the "miracle product" called CFCs - which as it turned out, led to another miracle product called sunblock since it chewed a hole in the ozone layer. That was the R12 and R22 "Freon" refrigerant. And then in the 90s we shifted gears to R-134a refrigerant. That was better, but still had issues, so we have upgraded again to the latest variety of refrigerants.

This isn't a fashion thing; we were driven away from R22 and R12 because they did too much damage to the ozone layer, and R134a because it contributes heavily to global warming. That is solved now, so the newest refrigerant choices are about effective temperature range (the newest ones work in Chicago), efficiency and cost.

And that applies to new products, already-installed ones "run til they drop" - or in the case of the oldest units, run 'til you can't get refrigerant anymore.

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