Second hand heat pump

I’ve always liked the heat pump concept but their complexity and cost have put me off.
Is it viable to buy a second hand heat pump without regretting the purchase?

A heat pump is an air conditioner. Well, in reverse, sort of. They are both heat pumps, the direction is just different.

How many air conditioners hang off buildings running for years with nothing more than someone cleaning a filter (if they even bother)? It’s old tech with very little complexity. If the price is right, and the equipment still looks good, I’d definitely consider it.

What plonkster said.
When you do buy a heat pump second hand, take it to a service center to service. They will check if it keeps presure, perhaps refill the refridgerant and check that the pumps are in working condition.
Then you should be set for many years of service.

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I bought a second hand (ITS) heatpump from someone that emigrated to the UK. They installed a gas geyser as they claimed it was not saving enough money. The heatpump was about 7 years old when I got it. Paid R4K and has been in service for 2 years at my house. Looking at the date on the ehatpump it is 14 years old and still going strong. I love it, my home assistant schedules it to run just before we need hot water and it happily runs off my battery backup. In winter it uses roughly 2kWh to heat 150 litres up to 53 degrees. In summer it uses less than 1Kwh to heat the same amount of water


Sure, as long as it’s less than about 7 years old. They are a closed system (no refrigerant lines to route), not too much to go wrong. On the non-inverter types the starting cap usually fails after a number of years, that is an easy fix. The inverter types should last as long as the inverter lasts - which is quite long as long as lightning doesn’t get it.

That said, some of them are terribly overpriced - they should realistically be priced similar or less than an aircon with a similar pump, which is usually a 12000-24000btu unit.


In my experience, that’s roughly the case. The Heat Pump Jaco installed for me, cost price, was 12k. I later paid about 12k for a 12000 BTU aircon… but that included installation. Given the average rate installers charge, that means there was maybe a 1k difference in the base cost of the unit.

Installing the heat pump was of course a lot more expensive. Copper pipe, the various accessories, and all that lagging and insulation adds up.