Are Heat Pump Water Heaters Noisy? Quick Fixes & Expert Tips

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By Debarghya Roy

Are Heat Pump Water Heaters Noisy? People often ask me about the noise level of heat pump water heaters. My experience is that they are not as loud as traditional ones. Plus, they offer energy savings and a continuous hot water supply. During operation, some noise is generated. 

Are Heat Pump Water Heaters Noisy

To reduce this, place the heater in an area with good airflow and adequate size. Lowering the thermostat setting can reduce sound and save electricity. The hybrid mode can be used in cold weather for extra savings. Proper installation, maintenance, and sizing based on your family’s hot water use can help maximize efficiency. Different models from market leaders come with warranties and lifetime agreements. Why not upgrade to a futuristic heat pump water heater?

Key Takeaways

  • Instead of traditional electric or gas water heaters, this type of water heater transfers heat from the air or ambient temperature to the water.
  • The noise levels can be around 40 dB when operating in standard mode.
  • Don’t let concerns over noise levels put you off investing in a heat pump water heater. Rheem HPWH and AO Smith units come with warranties and an energy factor of up to 3+.
  • You can install ducting, foam kits, or mixing valves to reduce the sound of the compressor or fan. This should improve the unit’s performance without compromising on comfort.

What are Heat Pump Water Heaters?

Heat pump water heaters are a type of water heater that uses heat pump technology to provide hot water.

It is a hybrid appliance that uses electric and heat pump tech to heat the stored water. These units can save 50% of energy expenses yearly compared to conventional storage tank types. They come in various sizes ranging from 40 – 120 gallons for homes. 

Brands like Rheem Performance Platinum, GE GeoSpring, Ruud Heat Pump, AO Smith Voltexhybrid electric unit, and others are available. The size of the unit depends on the number of people in the house and how much hot water they use.

According to Georgia Power Company, heat pump units may sound louder outside because cold air is released during its compression cycle. The noise levels can be around 40 dB when operating in standard mode. It’s like having a drummer in your basement but without the talent!

Noise Level and Concerns from Heat Pump

Wondering about the noise level from a heat pump water heater? It’s important to note that, alongside energy efficiency and hot water supply, noise level is an issue to consider. 

Air-source heat pump technology can produce sound levels above 50 dB or sound similar to a running refrigerator. But, manufacturers have implemented insulated tanks and compressors to reduce sound.

The installation environment like placement and ducting also affects noise levels. HPWH units work at high speed to get desired temperatures, then shift to low speed for maintenance mode. Hybrid Heat Pump Water Heaters incorporate electric resistance elements to tackle energy savings in cold weather.

To reduce noise, install foam kits or sound insulation around the tank. Don’t let concerns over noise levels put you off investing in a heat pump water heater. Rheem HPWH and AO Smith units come with warranties and an energy factor of up to 3+.

Noise level is usually not a big deal when considering other benefits, such as higher energy efficiency and reduced electricity bills. The heat pump water heater just wanted to sound off its energy savings!

Reasons for Noise in Heat Pump

Noise in Heat Pump Water Heaters can have various reasons. For example, the compressor noise generates mechanical vibrations when on. 

As well as airflow which comes through the ducts during its operation. This noise level needs to be taken into consideration as it is measured in dB and could potentially disturb people nearby. Different brands and models of water heaters have different sound levels. 

Customers have reported higher decibel ratings compared to other ones they’ve used before. Even when two products have similar features or similarities, noise levels may vary due to ambient temperature.

Reducing noise levels can be done in a few ways like,

  1. Purchasing a hybrid water heater or HPWH will make it quieter than traditional electric or gas storage tanks. 
  2. Resolving any issues regarding ducting and airflow can also decrease sound levels. 
  3. Lastly, foam kits around the unit can help dampen sounds traveling outside of your house’s walls.

Researching products with low sound output before purchasing one is important. This ensures you have an appliance that works efficiently and meets noise regulations. Quieting down your heat pump water heater is possible, so your neighbors won’t think you’re running a jet engine in your basement.

Steps to Reduce Noise in Heat Pump

Noise is a common problem with heat pump water heaters. Here are some tips to reduce the noise level:

  1. Select a heater with a low sound rating, usually measured in decibels (dB).
  2. Position it away from living spaces and bedrooms. Use soundproofing methods such as ducts and foam kits.
  3. Check and clean the vents, air filters, compressors, and fans regularly to ensure proper airflow.
  4. Keep the ambient temperature stable to minimize sound.
  5. Choose a small tank size to reduce vibration and banging noises.
  6. Consult experts for advice.

You can reduce noise further by monitoring unusual sounds. Consider an outdoor compressor to reduce indoor noise. Some brands offer low noise levels for their heat pump water heaters.

Brands with the Low Noise Level

Searching for water heater models with a low noise level? Here are some brands that might meet your needs: Rheem Performance Platinum, A.O. Smith, Signature Premier, Ruud Heat Pump, GE Geospring, and Bradford White.

  • These brands provide energy-efficient and quiet heat pump water heating systems
  • They have a range of units to fit different sizes and house designs.
  • Noise may be a concern for some, but it’s not always necessary. 
  • Think of other factors such as energy savings and efficiency when making your choice.
  • You can install ducting, foam kits, or mixing valves to reduce the sound of the compressor or fan. This should improve the unit’s performance without compromising on comfort.
  • Plus, choose the right-sized unit for your home and service it regularly to maintain its efficiency levels. 

In these ways, you can avoid issues and get the most out of your heat pump water heater! Noise worry is off the table when you’re thinking about money-saving energy bills and enough hot water for your family.

Other Factors to Consider While Choosing A Heat Pump

  • Picking a heat pump water heater involves more than noise level. 
  • Double-check the size of the unit and tank to match your home’s hot water needs. 
  • Installation needs, like ducting and electricity, are important too. 
  • Look for a high energy factor rating and maybe get a hybrid that mixes heat pump tech with electric resistance for better energy savings. 
  • Some units need extra foam kits or mixing valves to operate right and limit heat loss. Climate can influence efficiency, so think about your location. 
  • All new units since 2015 must meet higher energy efficiency standards.

One Georgia homeowner used an AO Smith hybrid water heater for one year. It was quieter than their old gas heater and saved them lots of energy. Plus, its small size gave them back floor space in their garage. No matter if your heat pump water heater sounds like music or a library, you’ll benefit from its energy efficiency.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are heat pump water heaters noisy?

No, most heat pump water heaters operate quietly. They make noise equivalent to a fridge running. If you’re concerned about noise, ensure the HPWH is installed in a location with good ventilation and insulation.

Are heat pump water heaters energy efficient?

Yes, HPWHs are highly energy-efficient, resulting in savings on electricity bills over time. They capture heat from the surrounding air and pump it into the water heater’s tank, resulting in heating using less energy than electric resistance water heaters.

What is the warranty on a heat pump water heater?

Most heat pump water heaters come with a 10-year warranty on the tank and a one-year warranty on parts. AO Smith, Bradford White, Rheem, and Ruud offer the best HPWH warranties in the market.

How do I determine the right size heat pump water heater for my home?

Consider the size of your family and home, the number of bathrooms, and how much hot water you will use. A 50-gallon HPWH is adequate for a family of four. If you are uncertain, consult with a contractor to pick the proper unit.

Are hybrid water heaters worth the cost?

Yes, Hybrid water heaters pay for themselves over time, providing significant energy savings that will offset the initial cost. A hybrid HPWH uses both a heat pump and an electric resistance element, ensuring that there is always hot water available even in cold weather.

How much does a heat pump water heater cost?

The cost of a heat pump water heater ranges from $1200 to $3200 depending on the brand, model, and size. Hybrid HPWHs cost more than standard electric water heaters upfront but provide significant savings in the long run.


Reviewing numerous models with heat pump tech, noise during operation should not be a major worry. The benefits outweigh any noise issue. Manufacturers have improved sound levels with tech and design advancements. Some offer “quiet mode” to reduce noise. Location and installation can affect noise levels too. When considering a new water heater, it is important to weigh energy efficiency, warranty, and cost savings. Don’t miss the opportunity to upgrade with an efficient unit. Switching to a heat pump is worth considering with federal regulations on energy consumption and cost savings in electricity bills.

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