How to Fix A Loud Noisy Heat Pump Unit or Air Conditioner

By | May 16, 2023

How to Fix A Loud Noisy Heat Pump Unit or Air Conditioner 2020
A noisy, loud air conditioner or heat pump unit can be an annoyance, especially when sleeping or watching TV.

HVAC calls for a noisy outside condenser is a common problem sometimes with complaints from neighbors with a room close to the unit.

Not all heat pumps are made the same when it comes to how much noise they make.

Some are so quiet you don’t even know it has turned on, while others can force you to turn the volume up on the TV.

Before racing out to buy a new heat pump, let’s look at something’s a homeowner can do to quiet down a noisy unit.

Common Noise Sources for a Loud Heat Pump Unit or Air Conditioner

  • Compressor
  • Fan Shroud (Cage)
  • Loose Screws Bolts
  • Fan Motor or Blades

While many things can make a heat pump noisy, the main culprits are the moving components such as the fan motors, blades, and compressor.

Often screws can vibrate loose, causing a shroud or door to vibrate and rattle around, making noise.

The compressor can also be loud depending on the type with solutions to help quiet it down.

Below are common fixes for these types of problems.

Fixes for a Loud, Noisy Heat Pump or Air Conditioner

  1. Check the Top Fan Shroud (Cage)
  2. How to Fix A Loud Noisy Heat Pump Unit or Air Conditioner
    The top fan shroud protects the fan blade as it spins and can vibrate a lot if not bolted to the condenser correctly.

    Sometimes screws can vibrate loose, or they can be out of alignment.

    Examine your unit to see if the noise from the shroud usually has a vibration rattling noise.

    If this is the source of noise, pressing on the edges of the shroud will cause it to stop vibrating.

    Often, a screw has come loose or simply needs the screws tightened.

  3. Compressor Sound Blanket Wrap
  4. How to Fix A Loud Noisy Air Conditioner Unit Compressor Sound Blanket
    A compressor is what moves refrigerant through a unit and transfers hot and cold in or out.

    Often they can become loud either because they were manufactured that way or are old and starting to show wear.

    Compressor Sound Blanket Wraps can be used to muffle out a noisy compressor and work very well.

    A compressor sound wrap blanket is made of noise reduction material that simply wraps around a compressor.
    How to fix a Loud Heat Pump Unit Compressor

    Sound wraps are simple enough to install with minimal skills and can even be bought on Amazon.

    Example Compressor Sound Wrap Blanket on Amazon
    Brinmar SBUHD Universal-Fit Air Conditioner Compressor Sound Blanket Wrap (0421A)
    Manufacturers don’t usually install a noise suppressant blanket around a compressor, but some do, so be sure to check.

    Installation is not hard but does require unscrewing and removing the top or side panel of a heat pump unit, which may not be for everyone.

    Someone can always be hired if needed. If you do install one yourself, be sure the power is off to the units before removing the top or side panel.

  5. Vibration Isolation Dampener Mounts
  6. How to Fix A Loud Noisy Air Conditioner Unit vibration dampener mounts
    Some compressors vibrate badly, which makes them very noisy as they vibrate about.

    One way to fix this problem is with Vibration Isolation Dampener Mounts, a cheap and easy solution.
    How to fix a Loud Heat Pump Unit

    Most compressors have 3-4 main bolts that hold them in place. Vibration dampener mounts replace the old bolts with a layer of hard rubber that absorbs the shock created when the compressor vibrates.

    Examples Vibration Isolation Dampener Mounts On Amazon
    JW Winco 451.1-25-25-5/16-55 Series GN 451.1 Rubber Cylindrical Vibration Isolation Mount with 2 Threaded Studs, Inch Size, 1″ Diameter, 1″ Height, 5/16-18 Thread
    They do require removing the old mount bolts and replacing them with the new ones.

  7. Condensing Fan and Blower Motor
  8. How to Fix A Loud Noisy Air Conditioner Unit Condensing Fan Motor
    A condensing fan and blower motors work in combination to blow air away from a unit and blow air into a home.

    The condensing fan motor is the motor that sits outside and turns a large fan. This is the most common of the two to go bad in a heat pump unit.

    Often they are simply worn with age and time to replace. Other times the fan can be damaged, causing it to wobble wrong.

    Check for any debris that the fan may be hitting when it spins and that it is aligned properly. If the holding screws become loose, a fan motor can touch metal and make a racket.

    Changing out a condensing fan motor is more complicated than the other options but can be done by someone with basic electrical skills.

    For a complete guide on replacing a condensing fan motor click here.

The above are the most common reasons an HVAC heat pump is noisy.

Examining the unit will usually point to what the problem part is.

Also, be sure to check all the side panels as one may have come loose and be banging about.

Compressor sound wrap blankets are a common fix when a customer complains about a loud unit.

They are easy enough to install for a handy type of person.

Of course, call a professional if in doubt.

All HVAC systems have high voltage, so be sure to call a tech if needed.

Have you had issues with a loud or noisy HVAC heat pump air conditioning unit? Let us know your thoughts below.

Category: HVAC how to

About Aaron H. Benetti

Aaron H. Benetti an HVAC technician who has worked in the field since 1991. He began his career as an HVAC installer and later began doing troubleshooting and repairs. Around 2010, he began to write books on HVAC topics, mainly tutorials and how-to information. Currently, Aaron works as an HVAC tech and also writes many articles and posts for websites as well as books and videos on HVAC topics.

10 thoughts on “How to Fix A Loud Noisy Heat Pump Unit or Air Conditioner

  1. Maty

    Noise….but man there are some customers that ask for the impossible. One client in particular called me back 3 times to completely stop the vibration noise. Gawd lady! Want a quiet AC spend 30,000 on a geothermal system or a pay-up for Japanese technology, variable speed.

  2. Todd Behrends

    I recently mowing the lawn of a customer and found that the plastic shroud had disintegrated and that most of the pieces were laying inside the condenser unit, the piece that attached to the top of the unit was still intacted. I checked to see about getting a replacement one. No such luck, the unit was an older one. The AC service owner told me that he had seen people use chicken wire. I took zip ties and attached the chicken wire to the piece that was still whole and cut the wire to fit, bending the excess under the piece and then reattached it to the top of the unit.

  3. Doug

    When my heat pump was initially installed it made a racket when in normal heat mode. I built a simple sound barrier from acoustic sheets with an air space which worked well for my patio. However 2 years later the compressor broke and the guys who replaced it under warranty said the initial installer did a bad job. They were able to replace it and the unit ran incredibly quieter. I think they said the changeover valve was installed wrong.

  4. Dave Field

    very noisy outside unit dlcdhr1zkia model

    When it is very cold the hp makes a very noisy sound
    unable to sleep and the next door neighbor is also unhappy

    What can I do

    1. Karen Hanas

      Dave Field, Neighbor installed Bryant HVAC unit right under our bedroom. On and off all night, waking us up. On for 20 minutes, off for 5 and on again. And we are in California. They put a blanket on the compressor but it is still waking us up. Have you come up with any solutions? I don’t want to have to move.

    2. Harry Headley

      Our Trane heat pump with a compressor pump is one of six installed on the roof of our two story condo. They were installed on a plastic pad. The maintenance department of our residence has wrapped the units and have installed under each unit a one inch concrete pad as well. Our condo is on the top floor and the roof with these units is directly above our bedroom/bath areas. The noise from the roof units is quite loud when trying to sleep and seems more like a vibration noise, for example in the walls of the bathrooms, than a fan noise. What could the problem be and how might it be corrected?

  5. Anthony

    My unit was only 3 summers old with a constant loud humming. I called another company since I was so mad at the Man who installed my outside unit after telling me it was going to cost 800.00 more than what he said the day he showed up to install the unit My 4 th summer a nice man who came knew right off the bat what it was. He said it needs a boost kit. The cap inside is good but this boost thing will make the compressor turn on. The thing cost 249.00 with a discount and it was 99.00 for him to come out. OMG where does the makers come up with these prices for part! Anyway the nice man explained to me that air could be in the line and it messes up the compressor not long after or in my case 3 yrs later. He said the man probably did not PUMP IT DOWN correctly and showed me the unit used to do this. All and all. 371.00 and my AC works. He hopes this will do the trick and not have to replace the compressor. My advice, really find a reputable company to do work since my total cost for just the outside unit and now service is 2700.00 in the end. I never did find a company to replace my air handler and holding my breath.

  6. Bill Stewart

    Good Day
    I have a York Heat pump that is about 2 years old. My neighbour is complaining about noise at night. I have added a compressor blanket that has reduced the start up noise. The issue now is the fan tip speed that can be heard throughout the night when the unit is running. I was wondering if anybody has any experience in attaching a cowling to the top of the unit. I’m very open to any suggestions.
    Thank you
    Bill Stewart

  7. Debbie

    I bought a new heat pump a couple years ago and the bolts on the metal bracket holding the 150 pound heat pump have come loose causing my heat pump to tilt. The HVAC company who installed it said the entire outdoor unit will have to be disconnected and removed and the bolts will have to be replaced. They said it will cost me $500-$600. I had a handyman look at it a couple days ago and he said the Co. is trying to take advantage of me and that the bolts just need to be tightened on the bracket. What do you think? Thanks

    1. Mike Davis

      Sounds like all you need is for a technician to tighten those bolts you mention. There are also vibration dampeners that can replace the bolts. They have a rubber anti vibration on all four bolts. If your unit is only 2 years old it should still be under warranty for labor and parts. Call the people that installed the unit.


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