A heat pump is one of the most important household appliances specifically designed to keep the house warm when it’s shivering cold outside. However, sometimes, heat pumps run into problems and you need an expert from HVAC companies to inspect and find out the problem. If the compressor is bad, you will need to think if you should replace the compressor or the entire unit. To help you with the answer, here are a few tips.

Why Do Professionals Suggest Against Replacing A Compressor?

When it comes to replacing a heat pump or the entire unit, you are most likely to ask a friend or a family member. But the fact is that no one is going to be able to give you a definite answer unless you ask a professional. So, if you cannot decide between replacing the compressor and the unit, you should get a second opinion from an expert.

The reason is that professionals have seen it all and go through the same situations more or less every day. It is often that technicians are called multiple times to repair a unit just because the owners cannot afford it or assume the unit still has some life left.

You have to keep in mind that in both cases, there are some signs & symptoms indicating what you need to do. However, most homeowners still wait until some break down to call an expert for a heat pump inspection only to find out the unit needs to be replaced.

So, if your heat pump is running but not producing hot air, it could be that the compressor is gone. In such a case, the expert will suggest you to replace the entire unit especially if it is old. Several reasons can lead to such a decision. To begin with, if the compressor is already dying, it is most likely the unit is old.

If ignored, it will affect the life of other components and they might give up as well. If you notice that one or two other components have given up as well just when the compressor malfunctioned, it means you need to replace the entire unit. Furthermore, if the heat pump is 10 or more years old, it is time to replace the entire unit.

Finally, if there comes a time when the unit requires frequent repairs and replacement, there is simply no need to spend money on it. This is because the total bill at the end of the day will exceed the actual value of the unit. In this case, it is better to save the money and opt for a new unit.

When Should The Compressor Be Replaced?

While most technicians will suggest replacing the entire unit, there are some situations where replacing the compressor makes more sense. For instance, if the compressor has stopped working due to leakage, the expert will identify the source and fix it. Filling up the unit with more refrigerant will solve the problem.

Furthermore, if you already have a high-end heat pump and the compressor has gone bad, the heat pump repair McLean expert will most likely compare the repair or replacement costs of the compressor with the new unit. If the problem with the compressor is not that expensive as compared to the price of the new unit, the expert will most likely fix the compressor.

Plus, if your current heat pump is not that old and has been maintained well, it could be that some other component has malfunctioned and needs minor replacement. So, it does not make any sense to buy a new unit for minor problems. Heat pumps will last somewhere between 10 to 15 years and it is most likely to work even longer if the compressor issue is fixed.

Finally, if the unit is still under warranty, you should not opt to buy a new unit. Some external factors can also hinder the performance of the unit and might be easy to fix. That said, you should make use of the warranty by contacting the manufacturer and getting the problem fixed without spending any money.

How Do I Know My Heat Pump Compressor Is Broken?

Compressors are rigid components and can last more than a decade if the unit is well-maintained but some other factors can influence its lifespan as well. It is quite often that when a heat pump malfunctions, homeowners are quick to point at the compressor.

You have to keep in mind that replacing the compressor costs quite a penny and you need to be sure before even touching. There are some signs that will help you determine whether your compressor is the culprit.

If your heat pump is blowing cold air even when the settings are adjusted to warm, it means there is a leak somewhere. Refrigerant leaks are common and will cause the compressor to not work. Prolonged usage of the unit without the refrigerant puts stress on the compressor which might eventually need replacement.

That said, you will need to get the leak identified and fixed before refilling the refrigerant. Moreover, if you hear unusual sounds while the heat pump turns, it could be that the compressor bearings have gone bad. Depending on the problem, the sound may differ.

Instead of waiting for it to go away, you should call an expert. If the problem with the compressor is not repairable, it means it is broken and will need replacement.

How To Maintain Your Heat Pump?

Perhaps the best way to ensure your heat pump works effortlessly for years to come is by offering regular expert maintenance. Every manufacturer recommends maintaining the heat pump depending on the usage frequency. If the heat pump is regularly used, it should be provided expert maintenance at least once in 2-3 months.

Keep in mind that if the heat pump is not being used for a couple of months, it will still need maintenance. The reason is that during the summer season, rats, birds, and other uninvited guests can take accommodation that could cause trouble. This is also the case in the winter season.

This is why experts suggest performing maintenance before the heat pump is turned on after not being used for a couple of months. Furthermore, if you live in a region that experiences extreme weather conditions mostly throughout the year, you should keep a close eye on the heat pump.

It could be that dust, dirt, and debris might accumulate inside the unit and hinder the performance of the components. Eventually, the components will heat up and malfunction.

Another thing to keep in mind is that expert maintenance is not just limited to cleaning but also thorough inspection. This helps the expert identify any unusual signs & symptoms, leaks, damage, etc. before they turn serious.

In the long run, this helps save expensive repairs and replacements, which could otherwise also make the heat pump stop working just when you need it. Therefore, you must maintain a schedule and follow it to ensure a healthy lifespan of the heat pump.


Your heat pump will only last as long as it is properly attended to. If it is old and requires repairs often, you should opt for a new replacement. But, if there are minor malfunctions, it would be wise to simply replace the compressor by consulting a heat pump repair service Arlington.