Why Is My Heat Pump Making a Strange Noise?

  1. Woman covering ears

Pretty soon, heat pumps and air conditioners across Central Indiana will be working in full swing to keep families cool. Normally, heat pumps don’t generate much noise as they run. You’re used to the typical sounds that come with the system starting, running, and stopping – but what happens when new and sudden heat pump noises occur? Mission Mechanical explains the causes behind some common heat pump noises and how to fix these issues.

Common Heat Pump Noises & Their Causes

Heat pump noises that are new are typically cause for concern. Odd sounds may pop up during the system’s startup, as the heat pump cycles, or as the unit comes to a stop. Here is an explanation of common heat pump noises and what causes them, as well as solutions to end these disruptive sounds coming from your noisy heat pump.

1. Banging Noise

Banging heat pump noises that stem from the outdoor unit and occur during a cooling cycle are typically due to a loose component or a foreign object being struck by the condenser fan blades as the fan rotates. A sizable stick or other items may have fallen into the unit, or another internal component may be out of place and in the path of the fan.

Turn off the heat pump and look down into the top of the outdoor unit to spot any foreign objects in the way of the fan. To remove these items, turn off the power to the unit and remove the top covering to access the interior of the unit – some heat pumps have the condenser fan unit and motor attached to this cover so it may be necessary to remove them, too. Remove the object, reinstall the cover, and restore power to the unit. If you note loose components or something out of place inside your heat pump, call your technician to make repairs before using the heat pump further. If the fan has been damaged, it may need to be replaced.

2. Vibrating or Rattling Noise

Rattling or vibrating heat pump noises are a sign that the outdoor unit mounting feet have come loose, the outdoor unit is unlevel, or a mounting foot on the compressor inside the unit is damaged or loose. Look around the base of the unit for damaged mounts and watch to see if the unit moves as it runs. Rubber pads can be installed below the heat pump to absorb vibrations and heat pump noises, but broken mountings will need to be replaced. If you suspect this noise is coming from inside the unit, call your technician to inspect the compressor and repair or tighten its mountings as needed.

3. Gurgling Noises

Gurgling heat pump noises are a sign of a refrigerant leak and low refrigerant charge. A leak in the outdoor coil, refrigerant lines, or elsewhere in the system can allow air to enter these components and produce these sounds. The leak will allow refrigerant to escape, leaving your heat pump without enough coolant to efficiently run.

Repairs involving refrigerants must be performed by a licensed HVAC technician as special EPA certification is required to handle work with refrigerants. Contact your HVAC company if you hear gurgling heat pump noises. Your technician will find the source of the leak, make repairs, and recharge your system with the proper volume of refrigerant required for efficient performance.

Heat Pump Repairs in Central Indiana

Heat pump noises that are out of the norm often indicate a need for repairs. If you hear any of the loud noises described above or other concerning sounds from your system this year, contact Mission Mechanical right away and request an appointment for heat pump repairs.

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