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Broken Down Heat Pump Repair Cost

A heat pump is a device that transfers heat from a source such as the soil in the garden, air or water, to another location, like the hot water or heating system of a house. Heat pumps have risen in popularity as consumers fall out of love with fossil fuels and the UK government actively seeks to reduce reliance on this type of energy and move the population to greener alternatives. Heat pumps can be used to heat domestic hot water or provide heating but like any working device, they can go wrong. Pumps and sensors can fail or filters become blocked so what are the average heat pump repair costs?

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Heat pump repair will be split between labour and materials. You will need a qualified engineer to look at the pump to figure out what is wrong with it. They should quote an hourly rate and then the cost of any materials will be additional to this. The average cost for an air source heat pump repair is £250 but there are many variables which mean your bill could be a lot higher than that. Heat pumps are complex pieces of kit but the good news is that they are also pretty mechanically reliable with decent longevity. If your heat pump has failed and you need to call an engineer out of hours then expect to pay double the hourly rate as a call-out fee.

Why is a heat pump so complicated?

Heat pumps are quite complicated pieces of kit which is why repairs are generally expensive. They are however integrally quite reliable and so should stay in good working order helped along with an annual service from a qualified engineer. In fact, a well-maintained heat pump can last twice as long as the average household boiler.

Air is drawn inside the heat pump using a fan and this air is passed across a large heat exchanger. Inside the heat exchanger is a refrigerant which is very cold and heat from the air is absorbed by the refrigerant. The heat pump then uses a refrigeration cycle to compress the refrigerant causing it to heat up and this high-grade heat is then used to heat your home and hot water. A heat pump harvests heat from the environment and transfers it into your home.

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Why are heat pumps becoming so popular?

There are two main ways to try and manage large and unexpected costs for boiler repair. The first is to look after your boiler and have it serviced annually, this should pick up any worn parts before they become a problem and will also ensure your central heating is as efficient as possible protecting your energy bills.

Heat pumps reduce reliance on fossil fuels like oil and gas; they are good for the planet as well as lowering your energy costs. They make use of a natural resource – air, soil or water – to save up to 70% on heating your home and reduce your carbon emissions by up to 50%.

Heat pumps can also cool your home so act as air conditioning in the summer by capturing energy inside the house and drawing it outside to lower the temperature indoors to a more comfortable level.

Heat pumps are expensive, around £8,000 for an air source pump and £14,000 for a ground source heat pump but there are loads of schemes available which will allow you to access this technology without any upfront cost. Some of these are built around the government’s RHI – Renewable Heat Incentive – which entitles some homeowners to a government subsidised payment for using renewable energy technology.

Who can repair a heat pump?

Normally, your service engineer should be able to troubleshoot any issues you have with your heat pump. Make sure you use someone with proper certification and accreditation who is familiar with most makes of heat pumps including yours.

Heat pump servicing is usually charged at a fixed rate but repairing a pump will probably be billed as an hourly rate. When you phone to book an engineer, they may be able to give some idea based on your description of what could be wrong with the pump and this might offer a little guidance about the cost of any repair and how long it will take.
The benefits of regular servicing

An annual service will help keep heat pump repairs at bay or spot any potential problems before they develop into something more serious. A service will:-

  • Inspect the ducts, filters, blower and indoor coil for dirt and any obstructions
  • Seal any duct leakage
  • Verify adequate airflow
  • Verify correct refrigerant charge
  • Check for refrigerant leaks
  • Inspect electric terminals and clean and tighten connections

Many companies who install heat pumps operate a service cover plan a bit like the one you can have for your conventional boiler, this can include an annual service or insurance for breakdown and repair or both. These schemes run with a small monthly payment taken by direct debit. It can offer peace of mind that there is someone to call if you have a problem and there will be no unexpected bills or charges in the event of a pump breakdown.

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How to find a service or repair engineer

You can start by using the company who installed your heat pump and they will be keen to keep your business and offer incentives to sign up to annual service plans and breakdown cover. There are however plenty of other options as heat pumps become more and more popular so it pays to look around and see if there is a better deal out there.

The alternative to a service and breakdown plan is to just see wait and see and only call a heating engineer when you encounter a problem. You can do this by asking friends and colleagues for a recommendation or using one of the many trader platforms available online. Always check rates carefully including whether there is a charge for VAT and make sure whoever you use can service or repair your make of heat pump.

Be prepared for heat pump repair costs and make sure you have details of someone reliable and reputable who you can call on in a hurry if you do find yourself suddenly without heating or hot water.