Understanding Heat Pump Noise Level

May 10, 2023 | News

How noisy are air source heat pumps

Are Heat Pumps Noisy?

Have you ever wondered, “Are heat pumps noisy?” If so, you’re in the right place. In this comprehensive guide, we will explore heat pump noise levels, factors affecting their loudness, and how to minimize noise in various models. We will also discuss noise level regulations and provide valuable insights into the different types of heat pumps available.

Heat Pump Noise Levels: What to Expect

Air source heat pumps (ASHP) typically produce between 40 and 60 decibels (dB) on average, which is considered low to moderate. This noise level is comparable to a dishwasher or microwave. Current building standards require that ASHPs generate no more than 45 dB if positioned one meter from a neighbor’s window. Consequently, the ideal location for an ASHP is away from windows and at a reasonable distance from your neighbor’s property.

Decibels and Heat Pump Loudness

It’s essential to understand that decibels are logarithmic measuring units. This means that a 10 dB increase in noise results in a tenfold increase in loudness. For example, a 50 dB appliance is ten times louder than a 40 dB appliance. Fortunately, heat pumps are generally not that noisy. Most heat pumps have sound levels classified as ‘low moderate’ (40-60 dB), falling between the noise of a dishwasher and a quiet library.

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Noise Levels for Different Heat Pump Types

Air Source Heat Pumps

Air source heat pumps typically produce between 40 and 60 dB of sound at a distance of one meter. Their noise levels decrease significantly as you move further away from the unit. A properly functioning ASHP should not cause any issues in terms of noise pollution.

Ground Source Heat Pumps

Ground source heat pumps (GSHP) are generally quieter than air source heat pumps. A well-installed GSHP should generate no more than 42 dB of noise at a distance of one meter, which is comparable to the noise level of an average household refrigerator.

Heat Pump Noise Level Regulations

Heat pump installations must adhere to a range of regulations concerning sound generation. By working with a qualified professional installer, you can ensure your heat pump complies with all necessary regulations, such as the 45 dB limit when positioned one meter from a neighbor’s window.

Factors Affecting Heat Pump Noise

Several factors can influence the loudness of a specific heat pump model and installation:

  1. Design Variations: Different heat pump models have design variations that can impact noise output, such as the type of fan, speed, airflow, and pressure flow in air source heat pumps.
  2. Installation: Proper installation is crucial for minimizing noise levels. Using suitable tools and materials to dampen noise and reduce vibrations can help maintain a quiet environment.

Frequently Asked Questions About Heat Pump Noise

When can heat pump noise be an issue?

Heat pump noise can become an issue if it bothers you or your neighbors. A properly installed heat pump should not cause problems, but it’s important to follow regulations and best practices.

How can I determine the noise level of a heat pump model?

Manufacturers usually state the noise level output on the heat pump model’s webpage or in the product manual. If you can’t find this information, try contacting the manufacturer directly.

Can a heat pump get louder with age?

As heat pump parts wear down or break, the unit may become noisier. If you notice a sudden or gradual increase in noise levels, have a professional inspect your heat pump to diagnose and address any issues.


Heat pumps are generally not very noisy, and proper installation can help maintain low noise levels. By understanding the different types of heat pumps and their noise levels, you can make an informed decision when choosing a heat pump for your home. It’s crucial to follow regulations and work with a qualified professional installer to ensure your heat pump operates efficiently and quietly.

Moreover, it’s essential to keep an eye on your heat pump’s performance and noise levels over time, as any significant changes may indicate a need for maintenance or repair. Annual servicing can help prevent wear and tear, keeping your heat pump running smoothly and quietly for years to come.

In conclusion, heat pumps are an energy-efficient and environmentally friendly option for heating and cooling your home. With proper installation, maintenance, and adherence to noise level regulations, you can enjoy the benefits of a heat pump without disrupting the tranquility of your living space.

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