Heat Pump Noise Surveys

In climates with moderate weather, heat pumps provide a greener alternative to air conditioners and boilers.
An air source heat pump absorbs heat from the outside atmosphere and then uses it to provide heat in your home; including radiators, the provision of hot water, underfloor heating systems or warm air convectors. It can also meet your home’s air conditioning needs in summer; however in some instances you may need to undertake a Heat Pump Noise Survey to Satisfy local planning conditions.

Air Source Heat Pumps are more environmentally friendly when compared with traditional heating systems such as gas as the heat it extracts is renewed naturally – the only impact on the environment is the electricity it uses.

How much noise do air source heat pumps produce?

Although ASHP are an environmentally friendly technology and produce savings on energy bills, noise can still be an issue, as source heat pumps generally produce noise levels up to 60dB(A).
Noise in residential areas from industrial sources is normally assessed against British Standard BS 4142 and if the difference between the rating level of the specific noise and the background noise is +5dB, it’s deemed to be of “marginal significance” and acceptable. However if the difference is +10dB it is an indication that complaints are likely. Most local authorities will take action against the organisation producing the noise when it reaches this threshold.

Why do heat pumps generate so much noise?

Air source heat pumps can be noisy due to their components. The four main components of a heat pump is:

  • Compressor
  • AC condenser
  • Expansion valve
  • Evaporator

The evaporator can be heard when operating but the compressor and fan in particular are the most common causes of noise concerns.

The noise may also be caused by vibrations. The air can produce a noise when passing through the heat exchanger, with a variable intensity depending on the pressure. Also, buzzing sounds can be emitted from the AC unit and heat pump and the hum of the motor. If frost accumulates in the heat exchanger, this can produce further sounds on top of the existing fan noises. A constant hum can be the most disturbing aspect of heat pumps and is one of the most common reasons for noise complaint with ASHP units.

How to combat air source heat pump noise

If you’re planning to install an air source heat pump, we can help with our Air Source Heat Pump acoustic package. Firstly, we can undertake a noise survey to your GSHP in-line with BS4142 and if required we can offer acoustic advice on how to lower the onsite noise levels from the ASHP. Our solutions may include acoustic enclosures, with absorptive panels to reduce internal reverberation.

If you would like more information in regards to sound testing please follow our blog or contact us at info@aptsoundtesting.co.uk or call Darren direct on 07775 623464; alternately, If you would like more information on how to prepare for your BS4142 Noise Survey please download our sound test checklist.