During the winter, we rely on our heating system for home comfort. Yes, the cold weather makes our heating system work hard. And yes, many heating systems make some noises. In particular, homeowners hear their heat pump making noise and wonder if a potential problem exists. But, noisy heat pumps may just be noisy. However, noisy heat pumps may signal a potential problem.
How can a homeowner know the difference?
Secondly, understanding the heat pumps helps.
What is a heat pump?
Heat pumps move heat from one location and to another location. Heat pumps differ from traditional HVAC systems because heat pumps do not create and distribute hot or cold air. Conversely, heat pumps simply transfer air from one location to another in a home.
How does a heat pump work?
Heat pumps move air around a home, which removes hot air from the original location. Essentially, the pumps transfer air through a cycle of evaporation and condensation. For example, during the process a refrigerant substance cycles through the system via a compressor pump.
“There are two heat exchanger coils in every heat pump, one of which evaporates the refrigerant and the other which condenses it. During the evaporation process the refrigerant absorbs heat from the surrounding area. Conversely, during the condensing process it releases heat previously absorbed. The movement between coils is what allows a heat pump to maintain a desired temperature.”
Heat Pump Making Noise?
If you HVAC system starts making some loud noises, then naturally, homeowners want to ensure the components are working properly. As a result, some of the loud noises mean repair, while others mean replacement. To help, here are some common reasons why a heat pump makes noise.
Louder (than normal) Noise
Frequently, heat pumps make a swooshing sound as it starts up, then runs louder than normal. Fortunately, this noise likely relates to the valves shifting while the heat pump moves into defrost mode. Additional loud noise (while operating) typically relate to the compressor and generally not a cause for concern.
Loud Noises While Starting Up or Shutting Down
Although alarming, heat pumps frequently make odd noises while starting up or shutting down. For example, heat pumps with a scroll-type compressor generally make loud, rickety noises while starting up. Conversely, these pumps make a clicking and tapping sound while shutting down. However, again, these are typical noises and only need to investigate if the sounds change.
Loud Metal to Metal Noises
As opposed to typical noises, if you hear something that sounds like metal hitting metal inside your unit, then immediately turn it off. Generally, this noise relates to the fan and often occur from the fan blades hitting something that ended up inside the unit. For example, a chunk of ice or another component possibly creates this noise. Additionally, if this issue persists, it could result in a ruined fan that requires professional HVAC assistance to fix.
Rattling and/or Vibrating Noises
Any rattling or vibrating sounds present several potential problems. As always, some problems require simple solutions, while others need professional aid. For example, some homeowners simple place rubber pads under the unit, which absorbs and reduces the noise. Additionally, rattling sounds potentially means an issue with the cover panels. As a result, homeowner should ensure they are screwed in tightly or check for loose parts in the air handler.
Buzzing, Grinding or Gurgling Noises
For buzzing, grinding or gurgling noises, issue likely relate to internal components. For example, low refrigerant charge levels likely results in a gurgling noise. Conversely, a shrieking noise likely means dirty motor bearings, which probably foreshadows the motor burning out (and replacement). For any similar sounds, professional HVAC technicians should inspect and examine your system. These noises indicate potential problems, which requires an expert to identify the source and provide recommendations to address the issue.
How can SolvIt help?
Heat pumps, and the overall HVAC system, require some experience to safely inspect and attempt to fix any issues. As a result, most homeowners should find a reliable HVAC technician in order to correctly identify and determine the exact problem. Plus, trustworthy technicians provide multiple recommendations so any homeowner can make the best decision for their family. Speaking to a qualified HVAC technician is the best way to ensure that your heating and cooling needs are met and any heat pump installation is completed according to local and national building codes.
At SolvIt, we feel we meet and exceed the industry standards of professionalism and customer service.
“We built our reputation and business on reliability, convenience, and the best warranties in the industry. Our team strives to provide 100% customer satisfaction built on respect for you and your home. Most importantly, we only hire the best heating technicians by utilizing stringent hiring practices and conducting thorough background checks on all of our technicians. We employ these hiring practices for our customer’s safety and peace of mind. Our technicians are licensed, bonded, and insured. SolvIt technicians arrive at your home equipped to repair, maintain, and install all major appliances. We provide service on your schedule with upfront pricing.”
Connecticut’s harsh winter is no time to have your heating system quit on you. Your heating system needs the right attention and care to help protect its value and keep it working efficiently. SolvIt offers reliable and budget-friendly options when your heating system fails you (including expertise in oil to gas conversions and financing help through the Connecticut gas conversion incentive program). We offer furnace repairs and annual maintenance inspections, as well as installation of new furnaces and boilers.
Call or schedule your service today!