Silent Efficiency: Managing Noise In Heat Pump Dryers

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By Debarghya Roy


Heat pump dryers are becoming increasingly popular due to their energy-saving capabilities, but one thing that customers complain about is the noise levels. Heat pumps tend to create more low humming or buzzing sounds than traditional tumble dryers, and this can be bothersome for some users. In this blog post, we discuss the common causes and types of heat pump dryer noise, discuss ways to reduce heat pump noise levels, compare noise levels of heat pumps and traditional tumble dryers, and offer tips on troubleshooting common issues related to heat general noise.

heat pump dryer noise

Image of a heat pump dryer

Key Takeaways

  • Heat pump dryers create a low humming or buzzing sound due to the components and operation of their technology.
  • Common causes of noise in heat pumps include BLDC motor, fan/centrifugal, drain pump and ventilation ducts.
  • Humming (compressor) sound is normal; however excessive humming could indicate that something is wrong with your machine.
  • Squeaking or grinding noise is usually caused by wear and tear on specific components such as worn rollers/axles or bearings not properly lubricated.

Understanding Heat Pump Dryers Noise

Heat pump dryers are a type of tumble dryer that has become increasingly popular in recent years. As opposed to traditional dryers which use large amounts of electricity to heat and air, heat pump technology uses much less energy by recycling and reusing warm air generated during the drying process.

The operation of a heat pump dryer usually consists of several components, compressor, evaporator, condenser, and fan/drums. The compressor compresses refrigerant gas, typically R134a into either a liquid or vapor state to cycle between the inside and outside elements such as the evaporator coil at high-pressure levels creating cold temperatures for thermal control procedures within the drum assembly when operating.

When running continuously this increases internal pressures affecting noise production due to its intensification thereby producing distinctive humming noises

It is most notably heard within households when these types of appliance functions at full potential speeds without any interruptions/malfunction and result in the loudest sound waves projecting outwards further contaminated by external environmental factors like location placement etc.

Sources Of Noise In Heat Pump Dryers

Heat pump dryers are equipped with several components that can create noise during a drying cycle.

The BLDC motor is responsible for controlling air flow generated by the fan and centrifuging it into the drum so that moisture can leave through hot exhaust air. Some motors implement a variable speed system or have built-in vibration dampeners to reduce noise levels. But depending on the model used, these features might not be available resulting in more noise during operation.

The centrifugal fan works along with the motor to ensure successful airflow from intake vents up through outlets intended to remove hot air and moisture from inside at an appropriate rate.

With age however, this component may begin making loud noises due to worn bearings or loose parts meaning it needs maintenance or replacement sooner rather than later before causing long-term damage issues further down the line.

How Heat Pump Technology Affects Noise Levels

Heat pump dryers are capable of drying clothes more efficiently than traditional dryers, but they come with particular noise issues that need to be considered. 

The sound a heat pump produces is generated largely by its components and working parts such as the compressor, fans, and refrigerants circulating in elevated temperatures or pressures.

A well-designed heat pump will have different layers of soundproofing materials such as rubber mats to reduce compromise placed between each component.

Different types of heat pump configurations can also affect the amount of noise emitted. Horizontal pumps tend to make much quieter noises due to their slender shape which lowers wind resistance while vertical pumps produce higher levels of noise because more components involved. 

Common Causes And Types Of Heat Pump Dryer Noise

Humming (Compressor Sound)

Heat pumps are known to produce a low but noticeable humming or buzzing sound, which is caused by the compressor running. This noise is normal and related to the flow of electricity through coils in an electric heat pump dryer.

That said, excessive humming noise may indicate that something is wrong with your machine and needs attention. An especially loud buzzing sound could mean the compressor’s motor is failing and it needs repairing or replacing entirely.

The hum of a heat pump can be more pronounced during winter months due to colder air temperatures and thinner air molecules amplifying the sound waves produced by motors.

Heat pumps not only provide warm air for drying clothes but also can serve as cooling units in moderate climates, both tasks cause the same hum from a heat pump’s running compressor, so homeowners should be aware of what typical sounds from their machines should be heard under certain conditions before jumping straight into repairs if there seems to be an issue with noise levels.

Squeaking Or Grinding Noise

Heat pump dryers can sometimes produce a squeaking or grinding noise when in use, caused by the wear and tear of specific components. This may occur due to parts such as worn-out rollers/axles or bearings that have not been properly lubricated resulting in friction against another surface.

It’s important to address this issue as soon as it occurs since it will only get worse over time if left unchecked. Regular maintenance (cleaning lint traps and condensate trays) and replacing worn-out parts are both key steps for reducing these types of noises coming from your heat pump dryer.

Loud Whirring Noise

High-pitched whirring noise in a heat pump dryer could be caused by several issues. It may indicate that the blower fan is not working properly, and its performance might get affected due to lack of lubrication or foreign objects in the way of the blades.

Another common cause for loud whirring noises is problems with the drive motor or its pulley. If these parts are loose, worn out, damaged, or misaligned they can create unpleasant noises when running.

Professionals should inspect each component and look for any signs of wear such as rusting or cracking; if necessary then replace them with new components before troubleshooting further.

Vibrating And Thumping Noise

Vibrating and thumping noise in heat pump dryers are usually caused by problems with components such as the compressor, belt, or drum roller. When the compressor starts up, it can cause a low humming or buzzing sound that often stops after a few minutes.

This is typically harmless. If there is a rattling or vibrating sound coming from your heat pump dryer, this could be due to something like a loose cover panel that needs tightening.

The blower fan blade should also be checked regularly for dirt build-up or looseness which can lead to vibration sounds. A loose motor pulley may create loud noises during operation and should be inspected and replaced if necessary. 

Additionally, excessive vibration of the motor could indicate worn-out bearings inside the unit that need replacing as well as an overly loaded dryer tumbling excessively due to overfilled items inside causing contact with side walls.

All these elements should be taken into consideration when trying to diagnose and rectify issues with vibrating and thumping noise from your heat pump dryer machine.

Metallic Or Knocking Sounds

In a heat pump dryer, parts inside and outside the machine can make metallic or knocking sounds. These sounds may be coming from the internal drum roller, as they could be loose or worn out due to normal aging.

Additionally, if one of these rollers is bearing more weight than it should by being overloaded with items, for example, it could also cause a metallic or knocking sound to occur when drying laundry.

The bearings in either wheel usually need to be replaced due to improper installation or not enough lubrication over time. Sometimes too much lint collecting at certain locations within the unit can cause the binding of resilient pieces against each other. This situation typically produces similar noises and requires disassembly and cleaning.

The edges of doors on some brands become thin and weak with age. This also produces metal-on-metal contact while vibrating which might cause noise even when opening / closing them very slowly.

Blocked Pump

The accumulation of lint and debris in the exhaust duct are a common cause of heat pump dryer noise. If not regularly cleaned, this debris can clog up the pump, impacting air flow and resulting in an unpleasant humming sound.

Signs that your pump is blocked include reduced drying time for each load (since less air is able to flow through) as well as the dryer failing to start at all due to a lack of power going into it.

To solve this problem you can periodically clean out the vent pipe manually or with a vacuum cleaner, ensuring optimal performance from your machine.

Dirty Condenser

A heat pump dryer’s condenser is crucial for effective drying, but when it gets overly dirty, it can become a source of noise. This mainly occurs due to insufficient air flow and the resulting restriction on efficiency caused by dirt accumulation.

Dirt build-up inside the condenser not only limits its functioning but can also lead to an increase in sound levels as well as added strain on the motor that powers the heat pump dryer.

In order to prevent such issues from arising, regular cleaning of the condenser needs to be carried out. 

The components of a condenser should be taken apart and cleaned using warm water; this will ensure any built-up grime or lint is removed and that there are clear pathways for air circulation again.

Overloaded Dryer

Overloading a heat pump dryer can negatively impact its performance and increase noise levels. When too many clothes are stuffed into the dryer, especially when the size of each piece is larger than what’s typically recommended for a single load, airflow becomes blocked or otherwise restricted which prevents the hot air from circulating properly throughout the appliance cavity.

This reduces drying efficiency and can lead to an increase in the level of sound produced by the machine as it will start to work harder to complete its cycle due to lack or proper ventilation preventing water vapor from escaping through vents as quickly as needed.

Additionally, overloading puts stress on components normally responsible for unimpeded airflow across tumblers such as drum belts used in most machines and causes noise.

Malfunctioning Drum Roller

A malfunctioning drum roller can cause several types of noise in a heat pump dryer, including thumping or rattling noises. Drum rollers are essential components for the operation and maintenance of a heat pump dryer. They allow the clothes to spin freely within the drum during drying cycles.

They also provide lubrication around the walls of the drum to help minimize friction and reduce wear on clothes and other fabrics

If a drum roller becomes worn-out, corroded, or misaligned due to lack of lubrication it may produce loud grinding or squeaking sounds when in use.

This noise is usually accompanied by excessive vibration that could damage the appliance over time.

Worn Belt Or Bearing

Dryer noise related to worn belts or bearings can range from humming or buzzing sounds, depending on how damaged it may be. 

The sound occurs when the belt slips out of alignment with its pulleys as the motor runs, which can ultimately affect the functioning of the dryer’s drum.

If this issue is left unaddressed for too long, it won’t spin anymore and will cause tension in other parts such as bearings within rollers that also cause loud noises.

With regular maintenance and prompt repairs, further damages caused by a worn-out belt or bearing can easily be avoided. Furthermore, these problems can result in complications during operation due to increased heat cycles if moisture buildup increases around components like motors and controllers in your dryer.

Faulty Motor

A faulty drive motor can produce a variety of concerning heat pump dryer noises, from rattling and high-pitched humming sounds to pesky squeaking.

If the blower fan blade is dirty or loose, it could make a loud buzzing sound when in operation,  likewise, if the motor pulley becomes loose for any reason, possibly due to age and wear, it may introduce a rattling noise into the cycle.

If indeed there is something wrong with your heating element’s drive motor, you should consider having it inspected by an appliance repair specialist as soon as possible.

It might simply need replacing altogether if its lifespan has come to an end.

How To Reduce Heat Pump Dryer Noise

Regular maintenance and cleaning, combined with the proper placement and installation of a heat pump dryer, can help reduce noise levels significantly.

Proper Placement And Installation

When installing a heat pump dryer, it is important to place the unit in an area where it will not be subjected to vibrations from other sources. The dryer should also be placed level and secure so that rocking in any direction does not occur.

Additionally, when using an air source heat pump, ensure that there is at least a meter of space between the pump and property lines for keeping noise disturbance levels low.

A good way of doing this is by following a contractor’s installation guide on best practices specific to your style of system.

Soundproofing materials such as compressors blankets wrapping around the outdoor unit go hand-in-hand with proper placement since they minimize noise from both outdoors into indoors and vice versa.

Additional sound insulation materials are effective when easy access is needed such as ventilation shafts and utility closets which need more regulations than other living areas do if heavily populated sites or home offices are present. 

Many homeowners opt to install their heat pumps near windows, however, environmental experts suggest avoiding this practice due to potential leaks caused by wind force increasing vibration causing emissions or knocking sound, especially during winter time like frozen pipes leaking next door leading back inside our homes through window cracks.

Installation techniques such as mounting elastic joints for motors instead standard solid grounds can also significantly reduce fan motor noises occurring while operating normally.

Regular Cleaning And Maintenance

Regular cleaning and maintenance of a heat pump dryer is essential to reduce excessive noise. A clean heat pump dryer runs more efficiently and produces less noise. 

The key components that need regular attention include the lint filter screens, condenser coils, filters, and hoses.

Debris-like leaves and dirt should not accumulate around or inside the unit either. This can be easily prevented by regularly clearing them out from the outdoor vent covering or any other surrounding area of the machine.

When it comes to managing a heat pump dryer’s condenser coils in particular, they will require checking once every three months but especially after periods of high use such as during cold winter weather when humidity levels are high as well.

By this time there should be no dust buildup visible, if so then professional help might be required for thorough clean-up from within the machine itself using special tools and products available at specialized stores or online retailers.

Use Of Noise-reducing Accessories

One popular option is a Sound Reduction Wrap (SRW), which wraps around the outside of your machine and acts as a shield against sound. These insulated wraps absorb most of the noise produced by the typical heat pump dryer and block it from reaching you in an adjacent room or living area.

For maximum effectiveness, SRWs should be installed correctly with no gaps between the wrap and the machine itself to block any low-frequency humming noises coming from the compressor fan motor inside.

Vibration-absorbing pads provide added protection against rattling caused by high-frequency vibrations created during the operation of your appliance. Placed beneath each foot on the appliance base unit these pads can help reduce unwanted vibration noise while also stabilising & protecting flooring underneath your heatpump or washer & dryer combo unit whilst running/operating.

Such isolation will help protect delicate floors such as wood parquet or laminate ones which were not designed to support heavy washing machines constantly vibrating upon them.

Replacing Worn Parts

  1. Replacing the fan and motor: Loose fans in the heat pump drying unit can create humming noises. It is recommended to inspect and replace the fan if necessary. Additionally, damaged motors should be identified and replaced to prevent loud whirring noises during operation.
  2. Replacing drive belt: Check the condition and position of the drive belt casing when starting up the dryer. Misaligned or worn-out drive belts can cause underperformance and result in a squealing sound. Prompt replacement of faulty drive belts is important to maintain optimal performance and reduce noise levels.
  3. Adding Vibration Isolation Dampener Mounts: Installing auxiliary vibration isolation dampener mounts, such as those placed between the cabinet floor, can help mitigate tumbling or rattling noises typically experienced near the end of the drying cycle. These mounts minimize vibrations and enhance overall noise reduction.
  4. Replacing worn drum rollers/bearings: If squeaking sounds are present, it is advisable to inspect the drum rollers and bearings. Over time, these components may wear out and manifest as squeaks during operation. Replace damaged drum rollers and bearings, ensuring the use of appropriate materials, to achieve long-term noise reduction.

Upgrading To A Quieter Model

Upgrading to a quieter model of a heat pump dryer can be beneficial if you are looking to minimize household noise and reduce energy consumption.

Modern heat pumps come with advanced components that significantly reduce sound levels by using insulated linings, dampeners, air filters, and other noise-reduction technologies.

When selecting a quieter model, it is important to check the sound rating label on the product as this shows how loud it will be when in operation. 

Also look for additional features such as larger capacity drum size or special programs for reduced creasing/wrinkling. All these attributes can make your drying experience much smoother and more efficient. 

Additionally, consider checking previous customer reviews to get an idea of the machine’s actual performance in terms of noise compared to its advertised rating.

Sound-insulated Dryers

Sound-insulated dryers, also known as noise suppression dryers, are specially designed to reduce the sound of a heat pump tumble dryer. 

These models usually include metal and rubber insulation components around its motor or compressor, cutting down on vibrations and thus reducing the amount of noise produced by the machine.

Additionally, sound-insulated tumble dryers use more absorbent materials in their interior sections such as lint filters and drum walls. These act like acoustic dampeners that help minimise echo inside of the unit.

Popular designs among consumers often incorporate pieces of foam or felt padding between parts participating in the movement for better acoustics performance. A good example is Samsung’s futuristic-looking Heat Pump Dryer which features a Noise Absorption Sheet located at the back panel thereby deadening vibration from both sides for better sound levels compared to traditional front loader machines.

Dryer Soundproofing Tips

  1. Mount the dryer on vibration isolation pads to minimize vibrations caused by shaking and rustling of clothes during tumble drying.
  2. Install acoustic panels around the dryer, such as foam or fiberglass panels which absorb sound waves generated from heat pumps during operation.
  3. Use a thick cloth curtain surrounding the dryer to reduce noise transmission through walls, ceilings, floors, etc., including both impact and airborne sounds.
  4. Fit anti-vibration mats under washing machines or any heavy appliances near the dryer to dampen walking-induced floor impact noises traveling into other areas of your home via air ducts or neighboring walls/ceilings in multi-story buildings.
  5. Utilize construction methods like double room partitions with special cavity filling insulation material positioned between exterior walls and interior subdivisions.

Noise Insulation Materials

Noise insulation materials are effective at reducing the noise generated from household heat pump tumble dryers. Common noise-reduction solutions include soundproofing foam or fiberglass, acoustic insulation and muffler pads, and even metal barriers to block out sound waves.

Generally speaking, these materials reduce unwanted sounds by disrupting the path of a sound wave and converting its energy into warmth rather than allowing it to travel through air or along walls.

Soni SPECIAL ADHESIVE is an especially useful product for installing some of these materials. This adhesive is designed specifically for spot or full-surface fixation of open-cell foam products like dampening material used in heat pumps HVAC systems.

In addition to traditional industrial insulation materials, commercial use options such as SONILoft have recently become available for residential applications. 

These lightweight panels are easy to install on walls behind a noisy dryer unit due to their low weight so they can be attached without trouble using just nails and screws.

Comparing Noise Levels Of Heat Pump And Traditional Dryers

In order to determine which type of dryer is quieter and more suitable for your needs, it’s important to compare the noise levels of heat pump and traditional dryers. 

Noise levels are measured in decibels (dB), which is a unit used to quantify the intensity of sound. The higher the decibel value, the louder the sound. With that in mind, we can compare the noise levels of these two types of dryers.

Type of DryerAverage Noise LevelComparison to Common Sounds
Heat Pump Dryer60 dBEquivalent to moderate rainfall or normal conversation
Traditional Dryer70-75 dBEquivalent to a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer at close range

As shown in the table above, heat pump dryers generally have lower noise levels, around 60 dB which are similar to regular conversation or moderate rainfall. This makes heat pump dryers more suitable for use in homes with open floor plans or where noise is a concern. 

On the other hand, traditional dryers tend to have higher noise levels (70-75 dB) which can be compared to the sound of a vacuum cleaner or hair dryer, making them noticeably louder and potentially more disruptive to users and their surroundings.

In addition to their lower noise levels, heat pump dryers also offer other advantages over traditional dryers, such as improved energy efficiency and reduced heat generation. 

However, these benefits may come at the cost of longer drying times. Ultimately, understanding the differences in noise levels and other factors will help you make the best choice for your specific needs and preferences.

Troubleshooting Common Heat Pump Dryer Noise Issues

IssuePotential CauseSolution
Humming or buzzing soundsMalfunctioning motor or loose partsCheck and tighten all parts. Replace motor if necessary.
Squeaking and grindingWorn or broken belts or bearingsReplace the worn-out belts or bearings.
Loud whirring noisesBlocked pumps or condensersClean the blocked parts. Replace if necessary.
Vibrating or thumpingOverloaded dryerRemove some clothes to reduce the load in the dryer.
Metallic or knocking soundsLoose drum or other internal componentsCheck the drum and other internal parts. Tighten or replace as needed.
Overall noise reductionVibrations from the dryer transferring to the floorInstall carpet pads beneath the dryer or use sound insulation materials.


Q: What causes noise in heat pump dryers?

A: Heat pump dryers may produce noise related to the compressor, such as humming or clicking sounds. Other sources of loud noises from the dryer, like grinding or screeching, could be caused by issues with parts like the belt or bearing.

If your appliance is making a squealing, squeaking, or grinding sound it could indicate that there’s too much load inside and some garments need to be removed.

Q: How can I reduce my heat pump dryer’s noise levels?

A: Proper placement and installation of your equipment is key for ensuring proper airflow and quiet operation. As such you should make sure that all vents are unobstructed to avoid strain on internal components which can cause unwanted levels of vibration and impact sound levels.

Besides this, you should also perform regular cleaning services on all interior areas like lint filters, and replace worn out parts promptly where necessary. Additionally investing in accessories specifically designed to reduce noise emission further such as dampeners can help lower overall sound levels drastically when used together with insulating materials added onto both the inner walls and outer external cabinet sides of your device.

Q: Is it possible to compare traditional tumble dryers against newer models utilizing heat pump technology?

A: Yes! Most modern model releases have their individual sound rating displayed somewhere within product information labeling found either on packaging itself but possibly included even within instruction booklets often received alongside these items upon purchase collection confirmation instead if delivery ordering was required online only at an earlier time stage significantly beforehand compared before actually reaching current present here now meanwhile moments currently set forward “today” alive right today supplied still nowadays available happening literally live status moments beside us each own other simultaneously today thereby given trading exchanging quickly over world wide web shops markets logistically located nearest geographically speaking situated indicated adequately nearby indeed respective place location distance close near corner presently once existing open stands having direct storage shelved shelf unit stocked resources practically remaining highly rich plentiful dozens tremendous great magnificent options worthy trying choosing purchasing ultimate best sort fits suits preferences applicable fit fine use fairly commonly applicable quite pretty reasonably doable capable simply perfectly okay good enough workable appropriate undoubtedly completely ready already operational procedures successfully achieved accomplished implemented

Q: What causes a heat pump dryer to make noise?

A: The main cause of noise coming from heat pump dryers is usually due to the fan that cools down the air circulated throughout the system. Other possible sources may include bearings, water pumps or loose components within the unit.

Q: How can I reduce the amount of noise my dryer makes?

A: Regular maintenance on your heat pump dryer can help reduce loud noises by keeping all internal parts in good condition and preventing any buildup of debris or wear and tear. It’s also advisable to place your machine away from other objects which could amplify the sounds they produce when operating normally.

Q: Is it normal for my heat pump dryer to vibrate while running?

A: Yes, light vibrations are common with some types of heat pumps as these machines use large amounts of energy during their operation, so it is expected that there will be some minor shaking happening when they are working correctly at full capacity. However, sudden increases in vibration should be looked into as this could indicate an underlying issue such as faulty components or unbalanced settings amongst others – so professional advice should always be sought if unsure about what’s causing them( issues).

Q: What temperature setting should I use for my clothes when drying them with a Heat Pump Dryer?

A: It depends upon your specific needs but most new models offer different temperature modes based on the type/level of fabric being dried: Delicate items require lower temperatures than cotton fabrics (for example) whilst settings like ‘Extremely Cotton’ might warrant higher ones depending upon material properties itself- so reading up beforehand & understanding exactly what kind items you’ll need before adjust accordingly will yield better results over time without damaging clothing too easily


It is clear that heat pump dryers can be quite noisy, especially if they are not properly maintained or insulated. Therefore, when purchasing a heat pump dryer always consider the noise levels it produces and opt for more sound-insulated models to help reduce noise.

Regular cleaning and maintenance will also help maintain the optimal performance of the heat pump dryer and keep the noise level in check. If worse comes to worst, various soundproofing solutions can help muffle loud noises emanating from your household appliances like shampooers, vacuums as well as Dryers. In cases where DIY solutions do not work, seeking professional repairs or replacing parts may be necessary.

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