What Do Heat Pump Noises Mean?

Heat pumps are great because they use the air outside to cool and heat the air in your home without the use of a traditional air conditioner or furnace. If you’ve noticed that your Heat Pump Is Making Noises, you’re not in trouble. Diagnosing your issue is easy based on which kind of noises you hear. 

Hans Heating & Air is your dedicated Montgomery, Alabama heat pump specialist. Call us today to give your heat pump a tune-up or upgrade. 

Common Heat Pump Noises

It’s normal for a heat pump to make some noise. Like an air conditioning system, a heat pump is a big box with a fan in it. You can usually find them located outside of your house, or mounted on an exterior wall. Here are some common heat pump noises and how you can tell if your heat pump needs service. 

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 Sounds

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

Fan Motor Noise

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

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
  • A rattling noise at the unit
  • Metal-on-metal sound near the unit
  • Vibration
  • Loud humming
  • Hissing sound
  • Repeated gurgling noises
  • Loud shrieking when the motor is running

If you hear any of these loud noises, try changing the air filter first. If unusual noises still persist, turn off your unit and inspect it. Clear away 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 unit is still making noise, call Hans Heating & Air right away. We’ll discuss whether it’s best to repair the unit or buy a new heat pump.

How To Quiet Your Heat Pump

Some heat pumps are in inconvenient spots like outside a bedroom window. This can make the noise seem worse than it is. It’s good to check to see how old the heat pump is. 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.

If heat pump vibration noises are what’s bothering you the most, ask your Hans HVAC system technician about compressor sound blanket wraps and vibration insulation damper mounts. These can help muffle the noise.

Call Hans for a Heat Pump Tune-Up

The best way to prevent a noisy heat pump is to maintain your unit. You can do that by having regular heat pump maintenance performed by an HVAC professional twice a year. It’s a good idea to do this before it gets cold in the winter and really hot in the summer. This ensures that your heat pump is working properly so your heating or air conditioning won’t go out when you need it most. Sign up for a Hans Express Comfort Club membership to make sure you never miss a seasonal inspection.

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