Dealing With A Noisy Heat Pump: Expert Tips

Heat pumps are an incredibly useful system to have installed in your home. With the use of refrigerant, air is drawn in and then released as needed. Yet, what really makes heat pumps useful is how they can provide both heating and cooling with that one function. 

Thanks to how the system can be used throughout the year, many homeowners look into switching to heat pumps to save money.

However, heat pumps do have their unique problems that new owners generally aren’t aware of. Typically, loud noises are a sign that something is wrong inside the unit. So, when it comes to a noisy heat pump, many homeowners want to know what to look out for and how to deal with it. 

In this article, we’ve put together some of the best ways you can reduce the sounds that your heat pump makes and teach you what these noises mean. If you think that your heat pump needs to be repaired or if you want to install a new one, call our team at Clover Contracting today!

What Causes Heat Pump Noises in Homes?

When it comes to noises and sounds coming from your heating system, it’s not that strange to be a little concerned, especially if you’ve just switched to an entirely new one. You aren’t quite sure what noises are normal and which aren’t, so practically all of them sound like something’s wrong with the unit. Fortunately, we’ve included a few of the most common noises and whether or not you should be concerned.

Loud Clicking and Tapping

One of the many sounds that you might hear from your heating system is clicking and tapping. More often than not, when you hear your heat pump making loud noises like these, it happens a few minutes before the system turns on or after it shuts off. This is primarily because the heat pump’s parts shake a little as air moves around. This is a normal sound to hear and should stop after a few minutes.

Humming and Buzzing

Two sounds that homeowners who recently got a new heat pump might be concerned about hearing are humming or buzzing. Fortunately, these are two of the many sounds that a noisy heat pump might make and is entirely normal, especially if the noises are quiet or gentle.

Many heat pumps use electricity to run. As the parts turn on and go through their usual functions, the electricity passes through the individual parts as the power is needed. The result is the gentle humming or buzzing of the electricity running through the system.

Are Heat Pumps Naturally Noisy?

Besides the ones we’ve mentioned earlier, heat pumps have been noted to be a bit noisy. Though most of the noise is heard closer to the unit on the outside of your home, there’s still the chance that you’ll hear the quiet humming or clicking through your home’s windows or walls. In addition to the sound of the fan’s motor and the loud swoosh your heat pump makes in defrost mode, these sounds are entirely normal.

However, since your heat pump does have a separate outdoor unit, there are times when having a noisy heat pump is, in fact, a sign that you need to contact a technician for help. Leaving these kinds of noises unchecked for too long can cause damage to either the heat pump itself or the structure of your home. 

How to Reduce or Prevent Noises From Your Heat Pump

As with any heating system, heat pumps make their own share of odd noises that are signs to get the system checked out fast. More often than not, these sounds are loud enough to be heard clearly and often anywhere in your home. As mentioned, these sounds aren’t always a sign that some part’s failing but should get checked sooner rather than later.

Bangs and Metal Hitting Metal

During the winter months, there’s the chance that you’ll hear loud bangs that sound like metal hitting metal coming from the heat pump. If you hear the heat pump making banging noises like these, it’s incredibly important to turn the system off and check the outdoor unit. More often than not, the bangs are made by the unit’s fan blades hitting something that’s inside it. This tends to be ice but can also be another loose component.

If you can, take apart the outdoor unit to get access to the fan itself. If there’s a piece of ice or something that looks like it shouldn’t be there, take it out before replacing the cover and any other parts. If there isn’t anything out of the ordinary, call us to get professional help; our team is always happy to help replace or repair damaged parts.

Rattling and Vibrating Sounds

If the noises you’re hearing sound more like the entire heat pump is shaking or if one of the parts is rattling around, your solution can be one of a few things. The main cause of heat pump loud vibration issues is, in fact, parts that are too tight or too loose. 

More often than not, the piping for the refrigerant is screwed in too tightly or the covers are too loose. If the brackets around some parts are too tight, loosen them up a little and tighten the ones that are too loose.

If the heat pump still makes the same noise, the best solution is to invest in some sort of padding for it. Many HVAC companies offer several types of padding, but if you’re on a tight budget, any rubber padding works just fine. 

If the sounds continue from then on, your heat pump simply vibrates when it’s working.


When your heat pump makes odd noises, it’s important to know what it sounds like in the first place. Like many HVAC systems and other types of machinery, the heat pump naturally makes its noises, all of which are entirely natural. Separating the truly concerning sounds from the natural ones ensures that you don’t need to call someone to fix something that may not be broken at all. 

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