Air Source Heat Pumps Maintenance Tips
Air Source Heat Pumps: Maintenance Tips.
Decided to bite the bullet and swap your old boiler for a new heat pump? Well, you have a lot to look forward to! A warm house, a smaller carbon footprint, and less pesky maintenance to deal with.
Overall, air source heat pumps are pretty easy-going, but there are a few things you should do every now and then to keep them in peak condition. We’ve listed our top maintenance tips for air source heat pumps below so that you’ll feel the benefits for years to come.
How much maintenance does a heat pump need?
Generally, air source heat pumps are a low-maintenance bit of kit. In fact, the most important part of looking after your heat pump is to keep it clean and make sure the airflow isn’t being obstructed.
Plus, if you look after your heat pump properly, it could last up to 25 years compared to the average 15 years that your old school boiler will live to. A little TLC goes a long way!
Air source heat pump maintenance checklist:
If you really want to get the most bang for your buck, make sure to carry out the following checks every year. After all, you’ll reap the rewards for two decades.
Although air source heat pumps vary in some ways as they come in all shapes and sizes, with some mounted on the floor and others mounted to the building they serve, there aren’t very many differences when it comes to maintenance tasks you can easily complete.
We’ve listed a few simple techniques below to help you look after your precious pump. But remember, before you do anything, make sure to turn off the heat pump! this way you can avoid any nasty electrical faults or safety issues.
Keep it clean.
Keeping your air source heat pump spick and span will help it last longer and keep it working efficiently. Some key cleaning techniques include:
- Wiping down the coils: Use a soft brush to remove dust and debris from the coils, and then give them a wipe with a damp cloth.
- Replacing the filters every 30 – 60 days: By doing this, you can prevent any blockages to the airflow. You can also clean the filters by removing them from the heat pump, vacuuming and brushing the dust off, and soaking them in some mild detergent.
- Removing the fan blades and wiping away dirt: Similar to the coils, use a soft brush to get rid of dust and debris, and then give the blades a wipe with a damp cloth. If the fan belt looks a little loose, you can always adjust or tighten it.
- Cleaning the registers: These are just grilles with moving parts, which allow them to be opened and closed depending on the airflow. To clean them, all you have to do is use a soft-bristled brush to clear dust, pet hair, and other light debris.
Remove any obstructions.
Airflow is key when it comes to air source heat pumps. Even a little bit of overgrown grass starting to encroach the unit could be the difference between a warm or chilly winter in your household.
Two key methods to avoid obstructions getting in the way of your heat pump include:
- Removing encroaching grass, stray leaves, dirt, and other debris: It’s a good idea to keep the area around your heat pumps cut back and as clean as possible. This is especially important during autumn as falling leaves will often play havoc with your outdoor system.
- De-icing your unit: During winter months, the outdoor unit can get iced over, which can prevent the transfer of heat between the refrigerant (a substance that absorbs and rejects heat as it circulates in the heat pump system) and the air. Some models even have a defrost setting that gradually melts the ice to help with this issue but do your best to prevent the system from being iced over. Be careful not to scratch or damage the unit though!
Inspect the unit every now and then.
Check the outdoor unit for visible leaks. Most heat pumps have a drain pan that is used to collect condensation from the unit. If this pan becomes clogged with debris, mould, or even algae, it could overflow and create a puddle around your heat pump. So don’t panic if you see a leak. A simple cleaning job could fix it in a matter of minutes
Refill glycol (antifreeze). This prevents the unit from freezing up and breaking during the winter. In most cases, you’ll need to refill the antifreeze annually to cover the warranty from the manufacturer.
Monitor the system’s water pressure. You should check the pressure when the system is cold, and aim to have the gauge around the 0.7 bar for a bungalow, and around the 1.2 bar for a two-storey house
Get it serviced.
You should get your system serviced by an air source heat pump engineer every 2 years or so. Although, some warranties will require this to be done annually.
We also recommend getting your heat pumps serviced before winter. This way, if there are any nasty surprises, you won’t be left without an efficient heating supply during the cold months.
During an inspection, the engineer will conduct a comprehensive audit of the system, including:
- Refilling the amount of refrigerant if it’s running low
- Assessing water pressure levels
- Checking ducts for leakage, and repairing them if need be
- Measuring the airflow to see if it is at a sufficient level
- Inspecting indoor coils, filters, and blowers for dirt and other debris
- Lubricating motors and moving belts
- Looking out for any wear and tear
- Making sure the heating controls are operating properly
- Testing the thermostat is responding properly
How much does air source heat pump maintenance cost?
Generally, getting your air source heat pump serviced will cost you around £200. However, this price can fluctuate, depending on the company you go with and the size of your heat pump. Heat From Air offer planned, preventative and reactive maintenance plans so you are covered from every angle.
Heat pump maintenance actually costs considerably less compared to traditional gas or oil fuelled boilers. Other than the annual service cost, as well as buying antifreeze and filters, there’s very little that you’ll have to pay for. The reliability of modern-day heat pumps have advanced to phenomenal level!
Like most mechanical systems, you might need to get a few parts replaced over the years to keep the unit working efficiently.
These costs will range, depending on what parts you need. If you need to get a water pressure valve, for example, you’ll only be set back £20-£40 (plus labour costs), whereas a replacement condenser will potentially mean forking out thousands of pounds. Its quite rare that something this drastic break on modern-day units though.
How to stop a heat pump from losing pressure.
Just like a conventional fossil fuel boiler, your air source heat pump might get low pressure from time to time. This can be caused by either low refrigerant levels or a dirty air duct, two very easy issues to fix.
To increase the pressure, all you have to do is either top up the refrigerant (get in touch to have us do this for you) or remove the air duct parts and give them a good clean.
If you find these simple fixes don’t work, there might be something else wrong in the internal unit, which means you’re best off calling out an engineer to figure it out.
Benefits of maintaining an air source heat pump.
- Extends the life of your air source heat pump up to 25 years.
- Gets rid of bacteria and odours by unclogging filters, fan blades, and coils.
- Enhances heat pump efficiency.
- Reduces domestic energy consumption and the homeowner’s carbon footprint.
- Minimises the chance of the system breaking down.
There you have it, all the different ways you can look after your brand-new air source heat pump. Although it might not seem like much, brushing a bit of dirt off here, cutting some grass back there, it’ll make a world of difference.
Want to start cutting your emissions as soon as possible? Our team can provide you with quotes to compare the best prices and all you have to do is get in touch with us, and you can get a head start on the UK’s heat pump revolution.
Get in touch to request a call back!