Whenever you have a machine that uses air to transfer heat, there is going to be some noise. The question is whether or not the noise level is too much.

There are two main types of heat pumps – ground source and air source. Ground source heat pumps use the earth as a heat source, while air source heat pumps use the air.

Both types of heat pumps have their pros and cons, but one of the main complaints about them is the noise.

In this article, we’ll go through some of the things that can make heat pumps noisy, and see if there’s anything that can be done to reduce the noise.

How Noisy Are Heat Pumps?

To be fair, the vast majority of heat pumps are quite noisy. However, with each new iteration comes improvements in design that help to reduce the noise.

One of the main things that affect how noisy a heat pump is, is the size. The larger the unit, the more noise it will make. This is because there are more moving parts and more air is being moved.

One of the main causes of noise with heat pumps is the compressor. The compressor is what helps to move the refrigerant around, and it can be quite loud.

There are a few ways to reduce the noise from the compressor. One is to make sure that it’s properly insulated.

This will help to block out some of the noise. Another is to get a heat pump with a variable speed compressor. These compressors run at different speeds, which can help to reduce the noise.

Related: Heat Pump Advantages and Disadvantages

Air Source Heat Pumps

  • Positioning – One of the ways to reduce noise pollution from an air source heat pump is to position the unit away from any windows or doors. This will help to reduce the amount of noise that comes into your home. It’s also important to make sure that the unit is installed properly. If it’s not installed correctly, it can vibrate and cause more noise.
  • The vast majority of newly fitted heat pumps now have additional soundproofing to further reduce any noise. ASHP units installed without this can be quite noisy, especially when first turned on in the morning.
  • Air source heat pump noise regulations state that ASHPs must be below 42 decibels, this is measured from a distance equal to that of a next-door neighbor. The decibel levels at a distance of one meter (which is probably considerably quieter in reality) might be anything from 40 to 60 decibels, and they decrease dramatically as you get further away.
  • Oftentimes, a heat pump just needs to be serviced in order to reduce the noise. This is because over time, parts can become loose and create more noise than they did when they were new. If you think that your heat pump is too noisy, it’s a good idea to have it checked out by a professional.

Related: Are There Government Grants for Air Source Heat Pumps?

What are the quietest air source heat pumps?

Some of the quietest boilers are from manufacturers like Valliant, Ideal Logic, Grant, Mitsubishi, and Salamander Pumps.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

The decibel levels for ground source heat pumps range from 42 to 60, while air source heat pumps range from 40 to 60 decibels. This is determined by the manufacturer and installation.

  • Ground source heat pumps are generally much quieter than air source heat pumps. This is because the compressor is usually located inside the unit, rather than outside.
  • Another reason why ground source heat pumps are often quieter is that the units are typically larger. This means that there are fewer moving parts, which can help to reduce the noise.
  • Larger units also tend to have better insulation, which can help to reduce the noise that comes from the unit.
  • One of the best ways to reduce the noise from a ground source heat pump is to get one with a variable speed compressor. These compressors run at different speeds, which can help to reduce the noise.
  • Another way to reduce noise from a ground source heat pump is to make sure that it’s installed properly. If it’s not installed correctly, it can vibrate and cause more noise.
  • Regularly servicing your heat pump can also help to reduce the noise. This is because over time, parts can become loose and create more noise than they did when they were new.

Heat Pump Noise Level Comparison

Are Your Neighbors Complaining?

Your Neighbors are complaining

If your neighbors are complaining about the noise from your heat pump, there are a few things you can do to try to reduce the noise.

  • One of the best ways to reduce noise from a heat pump is to position it at a different location. If you have an air source heat pump, try to position it away from any windows or doors. If you have a ground source heat pump, try to position it in a different location.
  • Another way to reduce noise from a heat pump is to get a quieter model. There are many different models on the market, and some are much quieter than others. Each heat pump will have a decibel rating, so you can compare the noise levels of different models.

If you are complaining

On the flip side, it might be you that has an issue with the noise from your neighbor's heat pump. If this is the case, you can try to talk to them about the problem.

You could also try to speak to your local council or environmental health department. They may be able to help you to resolve the issue. However, I recommend you take this up with your neighbor first.

The upper limit is not widely encountered. Air source heat pump noise is regulated by government legislation in several countries.

The decibel level of air source heat pumps must be less than 42, measured from a distance equal to that separating the unit and the next-door property.

FAQs

How can I make my air source heat pump quieter?

To reduce air source heat pump noise, you must first think about the ideal position for your equipment. Install them away from bedroom windows - or any other windows, for that matter - as well as nearby areas in your home where you wish to relax. You must also place them as far away from your neighbor's property lines as possible.

Are heat pumps noisy in the winter?

The heat pump shifts to defrost mode during the cold season, and the valve reverses and produces a whooshing sound for several seconds. After the whooshing noise, there is a somewhat louder sound from the compressor. Because of this, some people may find heat pumps noisy during the winter.

Are geothermal heat pumps noisy?

No, Geothermal heat pumps don't produce that much noise, and even low-tech ones that make more sounds are quieter than conventional fossil-fueled systems. However, when you switch to geothermal heat pumps, don't expect a 100% noise reduction. They make a noise, just not as much as conventional heating systems.

Are ductless heat pumps noisy?

No, ductless heat pumps are quite quiet while in use. In fact, most manufacturers boast about the system's "whisper-quiet" operation. And many of our customers tell us that they are shocked at how quiet their new unit is–even checking to make sure it's on!

Related: Ductless Heat Pumps and Ductless Air Conditioners

About the Author

Passionate about helping households transition to sustainable energy with helpful information and resources.

{"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}