How noisy are air source heat pumps?

Air source heat pumps are a renewable heating source because of their ability to convert outdoor air into heat inside your home. They’ve been suggested as possible alternatives to using gas boilers for space and water heating, and run on electricity alone. But, just how noisy are air source heat pumps? Continue reading to discover everything you need to know about air source heat pumps.

What is an air source heat pump?

An air source heat pump is a sustainable energy source that has the ability to pull renewable heat energy from the environment outside and pump it into the home. It runs on electricity but, because the heat output of an air source heat pump outweighs the electricity input they require to function, they’re seen as an energy-efficient solution for your home.

How do air source heat pumps work?

Air source heat pumps work by absorbing heat from the air outside and pushing that through your home via your heating system and hot water. They can even extract heat from the air when temperatures drop as low as -15°C, proving their effectiveness in all weather conditions.

Air from outside is blown over a selection of tubes that are filled with a refrigerant. The heat from this air warms the refrigerant solution, which creates gas. This then increases the pressure within the attached compressor and, as a result, the air or water in your home is heated.

As the heat transfers, the gas condenses back into a liquid and the cycle begins again.

How noisy are air source heat pumps?

One concern some people have with air source heat pumps is how noisy they might be. Standing one metre away, an air source heat pump can produce between just 40 and 60 decibels. Considering an average conversation at home could be measured at around 50 decibels, 40-60 is not bad for something so energy-efficient.

The noise they produce is due mainly to their four main elements:

  • Compressor
  • AC condenser
  • Expansion valve
  • Evaporator

The compressor and the fan are the two main components that create the most noise, but the vibrations an air source heat pump can create can also be slightly problematic.

The air produces noise when passing through the heat exchanger, with a variable intensity depending on the pressure. This may cause a buzzing sound, and it’s this constant hum that sometimes proves to be the most disturbing to homeowners and neighbours.

However, there are official planning requirements for air source heat pump noise. They must be below 42 decibels, measured from a distance equal to that separating the unit and the next door property. The noise may often be between 40 and 60 decibels from a close distance, though they’re probably much quieter in reality, and the levels drop as you move further away.

This means that the only way an air source heat pump would be a problem for neighbours is if the installation planning isn’t correct and the heat pump is located incorrectly.

Installation of an air source heat pump

As previously mentioned, failure to install the air source heat pump properly can lead to excessive noise, which leads to complaints from neighbours – and nobody wants that.

Installation should always be done by a professional, who will ensure it is up and running efficiently and correctly.

Where possible, air source heat pump systems are installed on the floor for ease of access. But it is possible to install them using brackets on a wall. Air source heat pumps are typically located near utility systems.

Air source heat pumps at toasti

Whilst it’s possible to set up an air source heat pump yourself, it’s best to enlist the help of a professional engineer for an installation. This system will be responsible for the heat in your home, so you want it to be set up correctly.

Toasti engineers are boiler and heating services experts, so they’ll ensure your air source heat pump is up and running as soon as possible.

If you’re interested in making your home more sustainable and energy efficient with an air source heat pump, get in touch with toasti today. Contact us on 0161 527 7326, or email us at info@toasti.co.uk.