Weird or loud noises coming from an HVAC system can be one of the most jarring and stressful things you can encounter as a homeowner. Generally speaking, loud noises usually mean something has gone wrong, which in turn means needing repairs or having to do without for a while. Not a pretty option come the summer season!
Is your heat pump making a strange sound, or being louder than usual? The team at GAC Services want to help you out, which is why we’ve built this list of possible causes. Follow along to find out what’s going on with your Gaithersburg home’s heat pump.
Need a professional to troubleshoot your heat pump this season? Contact GAC Services online!
Heat Pump Defrost Mode
Before we get into the signs that you might need a repair, let’s take a moment to talk about heat pump defrost mode. Because of how a heat pump operates, using both the refrigeration cycle and using air or ground-source energy, it can occasionally begin to frost up on the outdoor unit. This is normal, but when it happens, the heat pump will go into its defrost cycle to rid itself of ice so that it can operate efficiently.
The important thing to note here is that the defrost cycle can be loud. The heat pump makes a lot of noise, usually a sort of humming or vibration, and it will continue to do so for the duration of the defrost cycle (which usually lasts roughly 10 minutes or so). During defrost, the fan on the exterior unit will cease operation, and you may see some steam or vapor rising from the unit. This is all jarring, and again loud, but quite normal operation.
Common Noises That Mean You Need Repair
System definitely not defrosting? Then we’ve got more to discuss. Here are some common heat pump noises, what they mean, and when you need to call a pro:
- Screech or squeal noises. This usually sounds something like the serp belt in a vehicle when it needs to be replaced, and the problem is very similar. Screeching or high-pitched squeals come as a result of the blower belt, or the bearings, needing to be replaced.
- Rapid clicking. Rapid clicks, and especially when encountered alongside a humming noise, frequently mean electrical issues in an HVAC system. This needs professional service right away, and to avoid any electrical complications the system should be shut off at the breaker panel if it is safe to do so.
- Grinding sounds. Metallic grinding is typically associated with a loose component in the heat pump that is literally grinding against the inside of the unit. We would recommend seeking emergency heat pump repair if the weather is rough, or standard service if you can do with the heat pump being shut off for a few hours.
- Buzzing/vibration. Vibration or buzzing that goes on far longer than a standard defrost cycle often means a fan is jammed, or that another moving part has become lodged. The problem can range from simple to complex, but either way we recommend seeking a professional.
- Bubbling, or wet noises. The sounds of running water that may come from a heat pump will most typically be related to the condensate drain system. This is fairly easy to check, since the condensate line is located near your indoor unit. Check for any leaking, signs of water damage, or a clog in the drain line, and then call an expert.
Heat Pump Repair in Gaithersburg, MD
Stressed out about a noisy heat pump, or not sure what to do about your system that has been defrosting for far too long? Call on Maryland’s trusted HVAC experts at GAC Services! Our certified and licensed heat pump specialists can offer leading services and cost-effective solutions that can restore your comfort in no time.
Looking for heat pump specialists in Montgomery County, Howard County, or Frederick County, MD? Contact GAC Services online, or call 240-224-3144 now!