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Are Pool Heat Pumps Noisy?


The noise in the air-source pool heat pump is measured in dBA @ 1m, which represents the noise level at a distance of 1 meter from the pool heat pump in free air. For every additional meter, the dB level decreases by about 6 decibels. Thus, if your air-source pool heat pump is 8 meters away from your standing point, the 75 dBA noise will be reduced to 57 dB.


Although air-source pool heat pumps can be relatively quiet or too loud, it depends on the size of the machine and the compressor and fan it uses. For example, heat pumps using Panasonic compressors are quieter than those using scroll compressors. Additionally, centrifugal fans ensure lower noise compared to propeller models.


On the other hand, the dB rating of small air-source pool heat pumps will be between 60-70, while larger ones can reach 70 dBA. In practical terms, the hum of a standard refrigerator is around 45 dBA, and an air conditioner produces noise at approximately 60 dBA.


Only when running at 70 decibels does noise become disruptive. Considering that the noise from an air-source pool heat pump at 1 meter distance ranges from 40-65 decibels, it can be quite significant. However, if it’s too cold, the temperature will rise to 80 degrees Celsius. Noise variation also depends on the manufacturer; for instance, air-source pool heat pumps with larger fans may produce additional noise. Moreover, expect a noisy environment during startup, depending on sound barriers. Let’s take a closer look.


heat pump installation

So, what causes air-source pool heat pumps to malfunction?

When in operation, air-source pool heat pumps use four main components: the compressor, refrigerant, evaporator, and booster valve. However, the fan and compressor generate the most significant noise. The noise from the fan depends on the model and speed, air circulation, and pressure flow.


Similarly, airflow depends on the heat exchanger, and as it passes through, it generates aerodynamic noise. The intensity of the noise fluctuates based on the structure of the exchanger and the speed of the air. Noise is also influenced by pressure flow, as higher pressure reduces noise.


On the other hand, sound may also be due to changes in the heat of the ambient air around the refrigerator and the air circulating through the refrigeration circuit. As a result, liquids in the air condense and freeze in the exchanger. To keep the heat pump functioning correctly, its compressor must run in reverse for a short period to clear the accumulated frost. Similarly, this may contribute to distracting noise, which might blend with the fan noise.


Low hum and buzz sounds are typical during the operation of air-source pool heat pumps. Each unit operates at a different volume. The circuit and solenoid valves of air-source pool heat pumps produce slight noise when energized. This noise is usually not bothersome, but if it starts to become different, appropriate measures should be taken.


Noise during startup

Tracking when the heat pump turns on or off can be a bit challenging. This is due to its installation position. Skilled contractors should install the heat pump in a position where it does not make significant noise when turning on and off. Each time the compressor unit opens and closes, it produces significant noise for a few minutes.


Reducing the noise of air-source pool heat pumps

Currently, most brands use inverter technology to reduce the speed of the fan and compressor. The main drawback is that it affects the performance of the heat pump. If you wish to maintain performance, you can use noise reduction kits to eliminate noise. It comes with:


Vibration pads: These pads reduce vibrations reaching the ground.


Soundproof pads: Using soundproof pads inside the heat pump minimizes the vibration sounds caused by the compressor or fan motor. Some brands also offer noise reduction jackets.

Fan modification: Propeller fans generate a lot of noise when blowing air. If the noise becomes unbearable, you might need to replace them with high-efficiency centrifugal fans. Centrifugal fans do not disrupt the air but can lower the noise level without sacrificing functionality.

Sound absorption box: This is a metal box surrounded by soundproof foam, designed to significantly disperse and scatter airflow.

Using the above materials can reduce the noise output by nearly 17 dBA. You can still observe the following to further reduce the heat pump noise:


Avoid installing the heat pump in sensitive areas.

Note that the dB range will decrease as you move further away from the sensitive area. As air carries sound, and the fan is the loudest component of the heat pump, you can shift the noise by tilting the fan away from sensitive locations. When trees and shrubs break down the noise and propagate them through branches, walls also echo the noise and amplify it.

However, if you are pressed against the wall, you can use soundproof screens or barriers to block airflow and reduce the noise level. They are similar to the designs you see on the side of highways, acting as sound barriers to isolate traffic noise.

Final thoughts

When addressing the question, “Are pool heat pumps noisy?” we must consider the size, installation position, the presence of sound barriers, and the use of soundproof materials.


However, at distances of around 10 meters or more, their noise levels are generally lower than those of air conditioning units. Furthermore, with attention and planning, you can avoid causing noise disturbance to neighbors. You must be mindful of when the noise becomes bothersome and support it with soundproof materials. Most importantly, install the heat pump in a less sensitive area, and then you can start using it.

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