When it comes to the future of home heating, there is little doubt that heat pumps are set to play a major role in finding a greener way forward. While homeowners may be well versed in the annual servicing of traditional gas boilers and other gas-fuelled appliances, the annual servicing of heat pumps is not as widely recognised.

Consumers who have adopted and installed heat pump technology need to be aware of the importance of annual servicing for both heat pumps and associated systems. Heat pumps are highly efficient but are much more unforgiving then boilers in terms of performance if they are not regularly maintained. 

Given the lower temperature these systems work at, the heating system pipework and heat emitters need to be regularly serviced to ensure they are operating efficiently.

Servicing the future, today

In most cases, annual servicing is a requirement to maintain manufacturer warranties. Servicing which utilises the Benchmark scheme provides both homeowner and installer with the confidence that an installation is of high quality and that maintenance is both ongoing and recorded. 

If not done so already, consumers should make it a high priority to have heat pumps and systems serviced ahead of colder weather. Regular servicing is proven to maintain the lifespan of heating technologies, reduce heating bills, and ensure comfort levels within the home. 

The following points outline the requisites of each service visit, as well as additional checks that installers should undertake on the heating system at large, including on any hot water storage provision and controls.

Generic heat pump requirements

  • Full visual check of heat pump for leaks and general condition
  • Test temperatures, making sure that the optimum is reached
  • Pressure check on F-Gas circuits
  • Pressure check on system water
  • Electrical checks on circuits
  • Run diagnostic controls system to identify any issues
  • Check pipework insulation is adequate and in good condition
  • Check auto defrost function, check correct discharge of condensate
  • Clean filters and strainers.

ASHP additional requirements

  • Inspect and clean fins on heat exchanger, evaporator/condenser, and air intake
  • Check drain trays and pipework are clear
  • Check panels are secure, considering vibration and noise issues.

GSHP additional requirements 

  • Check anti-freeze (Glycol) levels in ground loops and boreholes, and top up as required
  • Check biocide levels for ground loop/boreholes.

Heating systems

  • Clean magnetic system filters
  • Check and test inhibitor levels and top up as required, following manufacturer instructions.
  • Fully inspect system for water leaks at valves, radiators, auto air vents, etc.
  • Heat up system and check radiators for cold spots, bleed air, or flush to remove sludge
  • Check and test that all pressure relief valves are working correctly
  • Should a buffer vessel be part of the system, this should also be inspected.

Domestic hot water storage

  • Inspect insulation on hot water storage cylinders
  • Check for leaks on storage cylinders and pipe connections
  • Check temperature and pressure relief valve is fitted in line with Building Regulations Approved Document G3 or equivalent in devolved home countries.


  • Professional advice should be given to consumer on how best to optimise the heat pump’s system
  • Any upgrades to controls, such as weather compensation, and auto-balancing thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) could be recommended.

Working together 

A heat pump is a significant long-term investment for householders, and it is essential they are maintained annually. It is within the expertise of industry professionals to ensure that extra focus is brought to the heating and hot water system so that safety, performance, and comfort can be optimised.

The role of an installer remains the same, despite the changes to traditional heating appliances. Homeowners will still turn to professionals for guidance and reassurance when navigating often technical topics. 

While it is recommended that heat pump systems are serviced in the warmer months, installers should not miss any opportunity to advise their customers of the importance of annual servicing.

It is understandable that installers may feel unsure about where to turn for top industry guidance when it comes to servicing and installing new technologies such as heat pumps. 

Trusted bodies, such as the Heating and Hotwater Industry Council, have compiled the latest industry guidelines and advice to advocate for best industry practice. Resources like The Heat Pump Charter provide installers with the minimum requirements needed to ensure consumer confidence. 

In a volatile energy market and changing heating landscape, it is important that installers lead the way for consumers, navigating changing guidelines and helping homeowners efficiently heat their homes.