It may have taken you a little while to get used to the noises that are associated with the normal operation of a heat pump. However, by now, you're may likely be able to distinguish what is normal and what's not. As the pump starts, it may make a squealing noise or it could sound like a washing machine that is unbalanced. As it shuts down, it could sound as if it is back pedaling, and a whooshing noise could occur when it goes into defrost mode. These are all normal sounds, depending on your exact heat pump, but what's not normal?
Noises That You Can Normally Remedy on Your Own
- Vibration – There are several different reasons why your heat pump is making a vibrating sound while it is operating. One of these is that the screws in the cover panel have come loose. This is an easy fix, as you just need to tighten them with the proper tool. If the vibration noise is still present, or the screws were not loose, there could be an issue with the belt. The belt may either need to be replaced from normal wear and tear or realigned from slipping off its wheels. This can be done by removing the cover panel previously mentioned.
- Pinging – If you notice a pinging noise, it probably isn't from the heat pump itself. In fact, it is likely occurring somewhere in the ducting. Locate the area where the noise is coming from and create a small dent in the ducting. This will help prevent the pinging noise in the future when the metal gets hot.
Noises That Are a Sign of Something More Serious and Require an Expert
- Hissing – If you notice a hissing sound coming from the heat pump, there could be a refrigerant leak. An expert will have special tools that can easily and quickly identify whether refrigerant is leaking and where it is leaking from.
- Banging – When you notice a banging noise, it may mean that the bearings on the compressor have endured too much wear and need to be replaced. In other cases, it could mean that the motor mounts are loose and need to be tightened. These are easier and safer for an expert to identify and reach, when necessary.
- Screaming – If you notice high-pitched screaming coming from the heat pump, it is likely actually coming directly from the compressor. This could mean that there is a pressurization issue and an expert will need to diagnose this and repair it.
If you need help diagnosing the problem with your heat pump or need to schedule an appointment for an inspection, maintenance or service, contact a local HVAC professional like Advanced Heating & Cooling.