by Roger Sadgrove and Gary Timmins (16-Dec-2013)
Air source heat pumps (ASHPs) are often installed to reduce energy consumption. They work on the same principles as domestic refrigerators, transferring energy from one place to another using heat exchangers, with a refrigerant fluid going through a process of compression and expansion. These electro-mechanical devices are typically sited immediately adjacent to the buildings that they serve and are not silent in operation. The main sources of noise are the compressor and fan used to increase the flow of air over the heat exchanger.The choices for location will often be limited and the noise produced will be a criterion in product selection. Mitigation of noise nuisance has to be considered for both the dwelling being served and adjacent dwellings. This is particularly important where dwellings are sited close together.Regulatory requirements vary throughout the UK, with England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland each subject to different guidance. The purpose of this publication is to give an overview of the planning requirements relating to ASHPs in the UK, and to provide a tool for the assessment of noise in accordance with Microgeneration Certification Scheme published guidelines before specifying, purchasing or installing a unit. It should not be used to assess the likelihood of, or in defence of, complaints regarding noise. This Information Paper is aimed at architects, specifiers and home owners.
Planning restrictions and controlsNoise levels
Assessment of noise from air source heat pumps
The effect of location and mounting conditions on noise levels
-Determining the maximum sound power level
Worked exampleRecommendations and guidance for installation: ways to mitigate the adverse noise impact