Why Is My Heat Pump So Loud?

If the heat pump in your Grovetown, Georgia, home is near your porch or patio, the noises it makes could disturb you when you’re trying to enjoy the outdoors. You could even have trouble having a conversation or watching TV in your living room if your outdoor unit is nearby, especially in winter.

Heat pumps have valves that reverse the flow of refrigerant to switch them to defrost mode in cold weather, and they often make a whooshing sound when they come on or turn off. They can also make more noise while they’re running than in summer. If these noises don’t interfere with your daily activities, there’s nothing to worry about. However, you can often save energy and enjoy more peace and quiet by upgrading to a newer, more efficient heat pump.

Problems with your HVAC system can cause other unusual noises, and you could have to deal with an expensive, inconvenient breakdown without repairs from a professional. Have your heat pump inspected if you hear buzzing, clanging, rattling, squealing, or other strange sounds.


Buzzing or humming could be from your heat pump’s reversing valve in winter, and you may hear this noise even when your heat is off since the valve’s solenoid coil always runs at low power. The sound could be a minor problem like a loose screw. You could also have more severe problems like a failing compressor, ice on your unit, a refrigerant leak, a malfunctioning motor, or a power problem that’s causing electricity to jump or arc between circuits.


If you hear a clanging or banging sound, like metal hitting metal, turn your unit off immediately and inspect the fan. These sounds can come from fan blades hitting something inside your system, such as a chunk of ice, a twig, or a loose component. You could end up with dented fan blades, a damaged motor, or other damaged parts. For example, the fan could puncture the refrigerant tubing and cause a leak. Without immediate repairs, you could need to replace your fan blades, your heat pump’s motor, the motor mounts, the compressor bearings, or even the entire outdoor unit.


A rattling sound or lots of vibrations could mean that a component in your heat pump is loose, just like a clanging sound. The piping for the refrigerant could be in the wrong position, or you might need to tighten the screws on your outdoor unit’s cover. You can also try placing rubber pads underneath your unit to absorb the vibrations and reduce noise. You could have a leak, a gap, or debris in your ductwork. Make sure you listen for strange sounds near your home’s air registers, as well as your outdoor unit.


Screw compressors get their name from the fact that the motors look like big screws. They often make a squealing or screaming noise. This isn’t necessarily a problem, but you should have your system checked by a professional if the sound started recently and you haven’t made any changes to your system.

Your motor could be going bad or your compressor could be putting your refrigerant under too much pressure. This problem is also called overcharging and it increases the operating temperature of your heat pump while keeping it from heating and cooling efficiently. You may also notice that you can’t get your home to a comfortable temperature no matter how much you run your system.

Other Strange Noises

Hearing clicking noises when your unit is coming on or shutting down is normal, but you should contact a professional if the noise continues after the system starts. You could also hear a gurgling sound if your refrigerant pressure is too low. This is also called undercharging and it could be a sign of a leak or a problem with your compressor.

Doc Savage Heating and Air Conditioning has 40 years of HVAC experience. We can help you maintain and repair your heat pump or our courteous experts can help you choose and install a quieter, more efficient unit for your home. Call us anytime at 706-426-9262 for excellent service.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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