Air source heat pumps are an excellent and innovative way to heat your home by transferring heat energy outside to indoors.
Although air source heat pumps only use electricity to generate heat instead of gas or oil, they’re still electrical appliances and need to be looked after to ensure they work as intended and last their full expected lifetime.
An air source heat pumps should be serviced by a licensed technician at least once per year. Regular servicing and maintenance can help prevent breakdowns when heating or hot water is needed the most and can be especially important when used as the only source of heating and/or hot water.
While an air source heat pump (ASHP) can require less maintenance than a traditional boiler, they still ideally need to be checked at least once every year.
We have our air source heat pump checked over by the installer every year to help ensure it’s in good working order.
We discuss more in detail below why you should have an ASHP serviced professionally oncer per year, what maintenance is carried out and what you can do to help your heat pump running smoothly in between annual inspections.
An air source heat pump should be serviced yearly by a licensed technician. It’s also recommended to regularly check on, maintain and clean your air heat pump to keep it in good shape, such as cleaning any air filters.
‘You should have a professional technician service your heat pump at least every year. Like all heating and cooling systems, proper maintenance is key to efficient operation. The difference between the energy consumption of a well-maintained heat pump and a severely neglected one ranges from 10% to 25%.’Energy.gov
We have our air source heat pump inspected yearly by a professional as we would do with a gas boiler.
As this is our only form of heat generation for central heating and domestic hot water, it’s important that we have our heat pump inspected for any issues that could arise in between inspections.
Even if no problems are found, we can rest assured that our ASHP will continue to work, especially through the colder winter months.
The cost of servicing outweighs the problems we would have to face without any hot water or hot water. Repairs can also take a few days and be expensive.
You may also be able to service a heat pump yourself in between annual inspections, depending on what type of heat pump you have and what the manufacturer’s guidelines are.
‘Clean or change filters once a month or as needed, and maintain the system according to manufacturer’s instructions.’Energy.gov
Maintenance that you can carry out yourself can include cleaning out any debris in the fan blades, but we talk about what can be done in more detail below.
Annual maintenance undertaken yearly by a professional and more regular maintenance carried out by yourself can lengthen the lifespan of your air source heat pump and can help to prevent costly repairs or replacements.
As air source heat pumps are more cost effective when considered over the long term, it’s important to help ensure that you’re doing what you can help make one last as long as possible.
Air source heat pumps are typically low maintenance however, with reasonably long service life. They are becoming more available to homes and even becoming a popular unit for cooling homes as well as heating them.
Many other heating systems are costly and need to be professionally serviced throughout the year. They are more natural and do not generate heat but transfer heat from outside and pump that air inside, which is a great way to stop using natural gas or wood heating sources.
An air source heat pump should be cleaned and maintained from time to time, both by yourself and a professional.
While you don’t need to take care of them the same way you would a traditional heating system, you should clean and maintain it so that it keeps running smoothly throughout the winter.
For more regular maintenance to be undertaken by yourself:
- Clean and/or replace air filters at regular intervals as stated by the manufacturer’s guidelines, such as monthly.
- Clean outdoor coils when they look dirty.
- Remove debris from fans.
- Remove general clutter and/or vegetation from around the unit when required.
The power supply to an air source heat pump should be isolated before undertaking any maintenance.
An isolation switch should be located near to the outdoor ASHP unit.
We undertake cleaning of our air source heat pump once or twice a year to remove any debris or leaves from in or around the unit, and perform general cleaning.
For annual maintenance to be undertaken by a professional technician, they will typically:
- Inspect the outdoor heat pump unit.
- Check ducts or pipes for leaks.
- Check refrigerant levels.
- Open up the external unit and check compressor.
- Check indoor apparatus, such as hot water tank.
- Inspect and test thermostat(s).
See our main article on air source heat pump maintenance requirements for more information.
How Long Does An Air Source Pump Last?
Many air source heat pumps can come with a five-year warranty that can add even more life to your heat pump.
Air source heat pumps can last up to 20 years if adequately maintained and cared for. Because no fuel source is needed, air source heat pumps can last longer than traditional heating appliances. New heat pumps can work efficiently for close to 25 years before being replaced with several technological advancements.
See our article on how long air source heat pumps last for more information.
Air source heat pumps are a fantastic and innovative way to transfer air from one location to another, but they may not all have yet been perfected because of their modern design and more recent implementation into homes compared to traditional heating appliances.
According to HomeAdvisor in 2022, the average cost for annual maintenance checks and inspections ranges from $75 to $150 (roughly £60 to £115).
There are some significant advantages to using air-source heat pumps, such as being a highly efficient heat source that can also be used for providing domestic hot water.
They can be cost-effective, and the running costs of other home heating systems are generally around the same amount. See our article on whether air source heat pumps are cost effective for more information.
They are typically low maintenance appliances with long service life, and some designs can even provide cooling in the summer.
While air source heat pumps are typically low maintenance and can have a long life span, they should still be serviced at least once per year, or as often as the manufacturer requires, to help ensure they’re running smoothly.
Annual servicing will need to be undertaken by a professional technician but more regular cleaning can be carried out by the owner of an air source heat pump, such as cleaning or replacing air filters and removing debris from the outside ASHP unit.