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Why Is My Heat Pump So Loud?

Man repairing heat pump

Heat pumps are a great alternative to traditional heating and cooling systems with a furnace and an air conditioner. If this is your first house with a heat pump, you might notice some things you’re not used to such as a heat pump vibration sound or other loud noises.

It is not uncommon for heat pumps to make noises, but which noises they make are key to learning what problems your heat pump is experiencing. Call Energy Savers for a heat pump tune up so you stay comfortable all year long.

Common Heat Pump Noises

Heat pumps are big boxes with a large fan inside. Like an air conditioner, it is common for a heat pump to make some noise. Usually heat pumps are located outside where you shouldn’t be able to hear it, but if you hear any of the following noises, there’s no cause for alarm.

Startup and Shutdown Noises

When the refrigerant in the heat pump changes from a liquid to a gas, there is usually a startup noise. Some people notice that when their heat pump starts, it sounds like an out-of-balance washing machine. This noise is caused by the compressor and it can make a vibrating sound, but it should stop after a few minutes. Your heat pump might make similar noises when it shuts down too.

Defrost Mode

Heat pumps can also keep us warm in the winter. However, being outside in the cold can cause some parts to freeze over. If it is very cold outside, you may hear your heat pump go into defrost mode multiple times. It is normal to hear your heat pump make a “swooshing” sound every time this happens. Your heat pump is just trying to stay warm.

Humming or Buzzing Noises

As electricity runs through your heat pump, you may hear humming or buzzing noises. This is normal, as there are a number of coils and contactors that are known to hum as electricity runs through them.

Fan Motor Noise

As the fan in your heat pump kicks on, you may notice that it can be noisy, but is not often bothersome. This noise should be consistent and smooth and not obnoxiously loud.

Ways to Keep Your Heat Pump Quiet

If your heat pump is in a location where you hear it frequently, there are a few things you can do to stifle the noise. First, see if you can find out the age of the heat pump. Heat pumps have an average lifespan of 10 to 15 years, and if yours is older than that, it may be time for a replacement.

Having regular maintenance performed annually on your heat pump will help extend its lifespan and prevent future repairs. A trusted heat pump technician from Energy Savers can inspect your heat pump and replace noisy parts like fans and motors. If heat pump vibration noises are driving you nuts, ask your HVAC professional about compressor sound blanket wraps and vibration isolation damper mounts, which can help quiet some of the noise too.

Uncommon Heat Pump Noises

Now that you know what noises are normal to hear from a heat pump, it’s important to know what sounds to listen for to learn when your heat pump might need repairs.

  • Whistling noise inside when your heat pump is running
  • Rattling noises at the unit
  • Metal-on-metal sound near the unit
  • Vibration
  • Loud humming
  • Hissing
  • Repeated gurgling noises
  • Loud shrieking when motor is running

If you hear any of these noises, try changing the air filters first. If noises still persist, turn off your unit and inspect it. Clear it of any outside debris. You can also try to tighten loose bolts and screws to stop rattling noises. If you’ve done all of this and your heat pump is still making noises, call Energy Savers right away.

Call Energy Savers for Heat Pump Repair

Although some heat pump noises are normal, it never hurts to have your heat pump inspected and cleaned. Call Energy Savers Air to keep your heat pump running comfortably quiet today.

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