Loud Noises From Your Heat Pump: What They Are All About

noisy house.

Have you ever been in a new house and noticed all the unfamiliar sounds around you? Perhaps stairs creak, wind whistles through the windows, or appliances make different noises than in your own home. Since you are in a new place, your sense of sound may be heightened. That’s an important skill to hone in your own home because unusual sounds coming from a home system or appliance can signal a potential problem.

Our team at AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning is well-versed in the normal and not-so-normal sounds that typically come from heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems. Here are some tips for your ears to pay attention to when it comes to your heat pump:

Heat Pumps Are Noisier: Typical Operating Sounds

If you recently purchased a new heat pump, you may wonder which sounds are normal and which are unusual. Round Rock homeowners who are used to a more conventional heating and air conditioning system may find typical heat pump operation is louder by comparison.

For example, when a heat pump starts up, the scroll compressor usually makes a loud noise. In fact, it sometimes sounds like the entire heat pump is shaking. On the tail end, heat pumps normally make a clicking or tapping sound when shutting down.

Heat pumps operate by removing heat from indoors and depositing it outdoors during the summer months. While performing the reverse process during the winter, your heat pump may make unusual noises. Heat pump owners should get used to hearing swooshing sounds when their heat pump goes into a defrosting mode during the winter.

All of these noises part of the normal operation of a heat pump and are usually nothing to be worried about.

Sounds That May Be a Call for Help

Although heat pumps typically make more noises than conventional heating and air conditioning systems, the important consideration with sounds is to pay attention to new and unfamiliar noises. Here are some typical sounds that may be a red flag for a problem with your system.

Loud metal banging. One common cause of a noise that sounds like metal hitting metal is related to the fan. Perhaps some component within your heat pump has come loose and is being hit by fan blades or some foreign object like a chunk of ice has made its way into your system. It’s important to turn off your system and look for the cause of the loud banging noise. One of our HVAC technicians can inspect and, if necessary, repair your heat pump in order to protect your fan, motor, and other heat pump components.

Vibrations and rattling noises. New sounds like rattling and vibrating noises may indicate a simple problem such as a loose cover panel, which can be easily fixed by tightening some screws. If you notice excessive vibration when you first install your heat pump, you may want to consider putting down a rubber mat to absorb vibration and reduce noise. However, some rattling noises may be more indicative of a serious problem such as overly tight coolant piping or air handler issues, which should be addressed by an HVAC professional. 

Grinding, buzzing, and gurgling. These three noises are definitely potential red flags. Grinding noises are often reported as a result of dirty motor bearings. Malfunctioning contacts or coils can make a buzzing sound. If you need to recharge your coolant, your heat pump will make a gurgling sound. All these issues need to be handled by one of our trained HVAC technicians so your equipment is protected.

Heat pumps can be an excellent solution to an Texas homeowner’s heating and cooling needs. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy notes that heat pumps can reduce a homeowner’s energy costs by up to half in some cases when compared with more traditional heating and cooling options. Your energy costs will vary depending on many factors such as your climate, home construction, and local energy prices.

Many heat pump noises are common and part of daily operation; problems with your system can usually be avoided by simply having regular maintenance. Our trained technicians will clean, inspect, tighten, and tune up equipment, helping it to stay optimally operational and efficient. 

We Know Heat Pumps

Call our professionals at AiRCO Mechanical in Round Rock, TX. We’re standing by to help you explore your heat pump noises and serve all your HVAC needs. Call 512.537.1234 or schedule online today.

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