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As part of a monthly update, Max Halliwell looks at the reality of living with a heat pump instead of the more ‘traditional’ heating systems.

… In my last post, I explained why I wanted to move to renewable heating for my 1950’s, 4-bed semi and shared some of my experience from having had a heat pump for six years.

Today, I’d like to focus on how easy it is to help keep your heat pump running as efficiently as possible and then contrast it with the strict annual maintenance regime that we all follow with our gas, oil or LPG boilers (of course we all do this, don’t we?).

My 8.5kW Ecodan air source heat pump sits unobtrusively up the side of my house, quietly working away whatever the Hertfordshire weather cares to throw up. 

In fact, I hardly even notice it, but I am aware that it is worth checking on every now and then.

The system is designed to deliver whatever heating and hot water I programme it to, and one of the things I like most about it is that I can check on it on my i-phone, and even set or change things from afar.

As I say, really, really easy and far less bother than gas!

Max Halliwell Product Manager at Mitsubishi Electric

If I’d kept a gas boiler, I simply wouldn’t be able to do this, unless I’d gone to the trouble and cost of adding one of the new-fangled controllers such as Nest or Hive. Luckily, my Ecodan comes with its own smart controller called MELCloud.

Annual maintenance regimes are another area where I personally believe that heat pumps win hands down.

I would wager that few of us make sure that our boiler has an annual check – even though we know that we really should. I know I got round to it when I remembered when I had a gas boiler.

Of course anyone checking your boiler needs to have Gas Safe qualifications, so that means you cannot do any of this yourself.

With a heat pump you still need a qualified engineer or heating installer to check on the safety of the cylinder and electrics, but they don't need to be Gas Safe as there is no gas involved. 

I do recommend you get a heating engineer to check the unit once a year - especially to ensure the warranty is valid and that the heat pump complies with the requirements of the Renewable Heat Incentive if you are getting the quarterly payments.  

However, there are parts of the annual ‘maintenance’ that you can do yourself, which is a visual check and a clean-up of the outside unit as I'll explain in a moment.

Cleaning up your heat pump

It is easy to forget about your outdoor unit

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01 Tidying up your heat pump


Like anything outdoor, it is worth an annual clean up

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02 In need of a clean

Check behind

Clear any debris from behind the heat pump

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03 Check behind

Check the grilles

Any blockages can reduce the airflow affecting performance

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04 Check grills

Before and after a brush up

Cleaning the grilles is easy with a wire brush

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05 Before After

Easier than cleaning the car

All in all it took me less than an hour

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06 Like Car cleaning

Simply check the outdoor unit and clean away any debris or garden waste from the back so that nothing can impede the airflow through the unit.

Then, if you want to, it’s just a case of cleaning up the body of the Ecodan, making sure that nothing is getting into the front fan area.

As I say, really, really easy and far less bother than gas!

Max Halliwell is Product Manager for the Ecodan range of renewable heating systems

If you have any questions about this article or want to know more, please email us. We will contact the author and will get back to you as soon as we can.

If you would like to know more about the range of renewable heat pumps and watch Max Halliwell explain about the ErP energy labelling visit