We’re here to tell you everything that you need to know about the servicing and maintenance of a heat pump, whether it is ground source or air source, as many people are unaware of what they need to do to keep these new technologies performing most efficiently.
Your heat pump will require an annual check by a qualified technician to make sure it is operating within the manufacturer’s tolerances, as a heat pump that is not operating correctly can lose up to 25% of its efficiency in both underperformance and operating energy consumption. Be sure to note that if the thermostat is set too low, then the expensive immersion heater could be kicking in, so the unit will use considerably more electricity to operate than it should. So a little expense on getting you unit serviced and maintained properly each year will save you a lot of money in the long run.
The majority of air and ground source heat pump systems come with a 5-10 year warranty on parts and labour as standard, although well maintained systems may last much longer than this (perhaps 20-30 years).
What’s included in a heat pump service?
Knowing what’s included in the service will demystify the process and make you feel more confident that your boiler has been well taken care of.
The service will vary a little between different providers, but here’s a general idea of what to expect.
The main components applicable to a standard closed loop heat pump system that will need checking are:
- The electronics and control equipment
- The water pump – the only moving item in the system
- The compressor – if this unit fails it will have to be replaced as a whole as it is a sealed unit
- Pipes and connectors (above ground)
- Glycol anti-freeze levels – check for correct chemical mixture
- Heating checks – check radiators and bleed system / underfloor heating / check fluid.
- Clean and or swap out filters
- Clean coils and fans (if necessary)
- Ensure proper air flow is not impeded by debris (leaves, dust etc.)
- Clean the supply and return registers inside the property
- Power off the unit and check / clean fan blades.
- Before the winter (or summer if used for cooling) it is recommended to have the unit serviced by a professional who will conduct a more advanced audit of the components and identify issues that could degrade the heat pump’s performance, which a user would not spot or be able to diagnose. These checks will comprise of the following:
- Check for system leaks
- Check reverse heating / cooling controls and verify they are operating as required
- Lubricate moving belts, motors and check for damage / wear and tear
- Check and test thermostat under normal operating conditions.
- As with all devices containing or designed to contain F-Gas refrigerants, an ‘F’ Gas certified engineer will be required to work on these components.
- Check ducts for leakage and repair if necessary
- Inspect filters, ducts, blower and indoor coil for dirt and other obstructions
- Measure airflow is correct
- Check refrigerant levels and pressure
- Check all electrical contacts and ensure they are protected from the elements
When they’re finished, the engineer will replace the casing and make sure everything is sealed properly.
At the end of the service the engineer should give you a checklist to show you all the work that they have done. They will also let you know if there are any boiler repairs that you need to make.
If you have any questions about your boiler, don’t be afraid to ask your engineer or get in touch with your manufacturer.
The best time to service your boiler
Most people wait until the weather turns cold before they bother to service their heat pump and heating system. While we get the logic (‘oops, it’s getting cold, better make sure the heating doesn’t choke!’) it’s better to get it done in the summer months.
If you get your heat pump serviced before winter, then the engineer can resolve any problems before things get cold, ensuring you always have a warm and comfortable home. If they need to turn the heating off to fix any issues, then you won’t be stuck with a freezing house.
In the warmer weather, there are usually shorter wait times to get your heat pump serviced, as there are fewer people needing repairs or dealing with broken down boilers. Because of this, you’re also more likely to be able to get an appointment that suits you.