Heat pumps, like most heating equipment, produce a certain amount of noise. But if it started making new, strange loud noises, it is most likely an indication that you need to call for repairs. Know the difference and how to fix your unusual heat pump’s noises.
The heat pump noise level is different between each model. Most units have sound levels around 50 decibels (dB). The higher the number, the more noise it will make during operation. Some of the best heat pumps can have as low as 30dB, which is considered very quiet.
Common Heat Pump Noises
Here are some common noises that you’ll hear from your heat pump during proper operation.
- The fan: The fan should make a typical, whirring noise as it pushes air over the heat exchange or the condensing coils.
- Reversing valve: During the winter, your heat pump will go into defrost mode, and the reversing valve will shift, which can cause a whooshing sound.
- The compressor: After the defrost mode, the compressor will come on, and when it does, it can sometimes be very loud and tinny.
- Buzzing noises: If you hear a buzzing noise from your heat pump, this is probably the reversing valve solenoid coil even when it’s not running.
Heat Pump Noises that Require Professional Repair
If your heat pump is making some of the following noises, it most likely means that you need professional heat pump repair. These unusual heat pump noises aren’t issues you can fix on your own.
- Low refrigerant charge – This typically sounds like a gurgling sound as your heat pump tries to push the low refrigerant levels through the coils.
- Fan blades – If you hear the fan blades hitting against something, you should immediately turn off your heat pump. This type of damage can seriously harm your heat pump and require you to replace the blades or the fan motor.
- Reversing valve – If the reversing valve is allowing refrigerant to pass through it internally, you may start to hear a hissing noise.
- Loud compressor – If the compressor on your heat pump is extremely loud, it could be an indication that it’s broken. Call your heating professional to make sure that it is too loud.
Heat Pump Noise Reduction
You can do a few things to reduce the heat pump noise. Heat pumps have an average lifespan of 10 to 20 years. If your unit is older than that, it will become louder as it ages. Having regular maintenance will help extend its lifespan and prevent loud noises.
If you’re in the market for a new heat pump, you can reduce the noise by looking for these features:
- Variable speed fans and compressors
- Soft start and stop functions
- Nighttime/low sound modes
- Insulated compressors
Ask your HVAC technician about adding features to help quiet the noisy heat pump.
If you can’t easily diagnose and fix the heat pump noise problems, then call professionals for help. If you need heat pump replacement, make sure to contact a qualified HVAC dealer. Even the quietest heat pump can become a noisy if it’s installed incorrectly.