How Loud is a Heat Pump Indoors and Outdoors?

Many homeowners investigating the option of installing a heat pump to save money on their heating bill express concerns about noise level. They don’t want a machine that is going to be obtrusive in their home, nor do they want a machine that is so loud that it bothers the neighbours while they are outside.

In the past we’ve often drawn the comparison that heat pumps are as quiet as a library, but that can be an abstract concept, and it’s hard to imagine exactly how loud a library is. To illustrate how loud a heat pump actually is, we’ve created two videos.

Indoor Heat Pump Noise Levels

The actual noise level of an indoor heat pump is somewhere between 17 and 26 decibels, but even that exact measurement might be hard to really pin down. To hear for yourself, watch the video above.

The system shown is an LG, which is one of the quietest machines on the market. As a side note, you may not want to position the indoor unit above a sofa, as you will be able to feel the air. However, in terms of noise, the heat pumps are unobtrusive.

The decibel level is comparable to a whisper or the rustling of leaves, and the noise your indoor unit makes is directly linked to the fan speed you have the machine set on, not unlike a table top fan, the higher the speed, the louder the fan gets.

However, the aim of a heat pump is to slowly and steadily heat your space, so typically, the fan won’t be set on high. In fact, in many homes, there’s a good chance you’ll feel the warm air long before you hear it.

The soft noise level of the indoor unit is similar on most top brands including Fujitsu, LG, and Mitsubishi.

Outdoor Heat Pump Noise Levels

In some cases, the outdoor unit’s noise level is of more concern to homeowners than the indoor noise level.

Click here to view video.

The concern is mainly that the outdoor heat pump system will run so loudly that it will bother the homeowner or nearby neighbours. While outdoor units tend to be louder than indoor units, your heat pump should never be loud enough to bother you or your neighbours.

Check out the above video to hear exactly how loud the outdoor unit is in winter while it generates heat. It’s quiet, and it won’t get much louder than that unless it’s running in defrost mode.

Defrost mode is necessary every now and then, when the system melts off accumulated ice on the coil so that it can drip down below the machine. Should snow or ice build up on your system, it can affect the fan, causing it to run louder or even burn out.

If your heat pump begins running loudly, we recommend you call the contractor who installed the system, as there could be a fan or bearing issue.

Overall, heat pumps, whether you’re talking about the indoor or outdoor unit, run extremely quietly, especially when positioning is done properly. Your heat pump will, in effect, have very little noticeable impact on your daily activities, outside of reducing your electricity or oil consumption.

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