Are air source heat pumps noisy?

UK Home Improvement

Are Air Source Heat Pumps Noisy?

These days, more and more homeowners are looking for ways to be more environmentally friendly. And it’s easy to see why. 

With climate change having a very obvious impact on the world around us, consumers are making changes to their daily habits in the hope of making a difference and minimising their individual carbon footprints. 

One way people are doing this is by adapting home heating systems in order to be less reliant on fossil fuels and non-renewable energy sources. 

This is where air source heat pumps come in.

If you’re considering having an air source heat pump, or even a ducted heat pump, installed at your property, you’re probably wondering whether air source heat pumps are noisy. This is one of the most commonly asked questions regarding the product, and in this article, you’ll find all of the information you need on the noise levels air source heat pumps create. 

Read on to find out more…  

What is an air source heat pump?

With climate change raging across the world and energy prices soaring like never before, many people are turning to alternative ways to heat their homes. 

Before we examine how noisy air source heat pumps are, let’s first take a look at what they are and how they work. 

In short, an air source heat pump, or an air-to-water source heat pump as it is sometimes referred to, is a renewable energy system that can be installed at domestic or commercial properties to heat buildings. 

These systems work in an extremely innovative manner, by transferring the heat stored in the outside air and converting it into water that can then be used in radiators, underfloor heating and other systems that heat a property. It can also be used to heat any water that is stored in a hot water cylinder and that is used in showers, taps and baths.  

In many ways, an air source heat pump works in the opposite way to air conditioning, by using air to heat systems rather than cool them down.

The heat pump will feature an evaporator which will absorb energy from the air before it is boiled at a low temperature. Then, the temperature will be raised and the water will be transferred to central heating systems where it will be ready to use.    

In addition to air source heat pumps, households can also install ground source heat pumps. The main difference between the two systems is that heat is absorbed from the ground in the ground source heat pumps. 

The type that is most appropriate for your property will depend on a range of factors including your budget, space restrictions and more. You should discuss your specific requirements with the installer to see what is best for you. 

The benefits of air source heat pumps 

As mentioned above, air source heat pumps are often favoured as an alternative source of heat for a property. 

With this in mind, they offer a whole host of great benefits to homeowners. 

This includes the following: 

  • Energy efficiency – Air source heat pumps are highly efficient, and have the capacity to produce up to three units of heat for every unit of electricity they use. This efficiency means you’re likely to consume less energy than more orthodox heating systems, which creates a whole host of additional benefits that we’ll go into below. 
  • Better for the environment – As well as the great efficiency they can offer, another huge advantage that makes air source heat pumps so desirable is that they’re better for the environment. They produce fewer greenhouse gas emissions compared to traditional heating units that typically rely on fossil fuels like oil, gas or coal. This reduces your dependence on greenhouse gases to heat your home, meaning you’re not at the mercy of fluctuating fuel prices. And, if you’re a climate-conscious individual, you can rest assured you’re doing your bit to minimise your carbon footprint, too.   
  • Cheaper bills – Undoubtedly one of the biggest advantages of having an air source heat pump installed is that it can help you get cheaper bills. Due to their fantastic efficiency, they can lead to lower energy bills especially when compared to other options like electric resistance heating which is known to be very costly. 
  • Low maintenance – Fortunately, air source heat pumps have fairly simple maintenance requirements compared to other heating systems. There is some regular maintenance required, such as cleaning filters to ensure proper air flow, but this is extremely easy to do.    
  • Great longevity – Air source heat pumps have an extremely long life span and, when properly maintained, can last more than 20 years.  
  • Safe to use – No fuel is burned when using air source heat pumps, meaning they’re very safe to use. You won’t need to worry about decreased air quality, the risk of a fire or carbon monoxide leaks.   

While there numerous advantages to having air source heat pumps installed, it’s important to note that they may not always be suitable for you. Typically, you’ll need a certain amount of space to store the device and certain upgrades may be needed to your home’s interior and exterior to ensure it can function properly. 

As well as this, the initial cost of a pump may be more than your budget allows. Be sure to discuss all of these requirements with the installer prior to agreeing to the work being carried out.

But, are air source heat pumps noisy?

Let’s find out…

How noisy are air source heat pumps?

On average, the sound level of an air source heat pump is classed as ‘low moderate’ and therefore not particularly noisy. 

To be more specific, air source heat pumps tend to generate between 40-60 decibels of sound at a distance of one metre. To put this into perspective, this is around the same level as a microwave. A screaming or crying child is thought to produce around 110 decibels of sound to give you an idea of how quiet these pumps tend to be.    

However, despite the quiet noise, the consistency of the sound may irritate some people. With this in mind, it’s important to always be considerate.  

Never install the pump near bedroom windows or close to your neighbour’s home. In fact, building standards state that your air source heat pump must not exceed 45 decibels of sound if it is located one metre or less away from your neighbour’s window. With this in mind, you should always make sure your system is placed away from windows and a reasonable distance from your neighbour’s property. 


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