Are heat pumps noisy? Expert reveals they are quieter than a dishwasher

February 16, 2024
4 min read

Are heat pumps noisy? Expert reveals they are quieter than a dishwasher

The most common misconception about heat pumps is that they are very noisy, so much so that they will cause noise pollution not just to you and your home but also to neighbours. 

We’re here to tell you that this is completely false and that they are quieter than typical household appliances such as vacuum cleaners or dishwashers. Here at Green Building Renewables, we wanted to work out exactly how loud a heat pump is compared to six other household appliances to put the noisy heat pump rumour to rest.

Contrary to popular belief, air source heat pumps are not disruptive to neighbours, as the government introduced a regulation which states they cannot exceed 42 decibels within one metre of a neighbour’s window. To ensure there is even less disruption to those nearby, installers of heat pumps will also typically place them as far away from neighbouring houses as possible. 

The average air source heat pump will run between 45 and 58 decibels, which is the sound level that can be heard within the regulated perimeter; this doesn’t mean they are breaking the government regulation, as they will be placed over a metre away from a neighbour. So, let’s look into how loud they are compared to other appliances.

Heat pumps are quieter than the majority of everyday household items, research finds

A graph showing the level of decibels produced by household appliances, including the likes of heat pumps, dishwasher and fridge.

By researching the average decibels of household appliances and the average decibel range of a Mitsubishi 8.5 kW air source heat pump, we discovered the noise levels of those objects compared to the heat pump.

To show just how quiet air source heat pumps truly are, our research has shown that the average quiet conversation measures around 40 decibels, and the heat pump ranges between 45 and 58 decibels. The average refrigerator in a household runs at 50 decibels, and a dishwasher (switched on and running a cycle) produces an average of 60 decibels of noise. 

The loudest household appliance on our list is the average vacuum cleaner, which can produce upwards of 80 decibels, making it the loudest out of our research. Further research into heat pump noise emissions among homeowners showed that 44% of people could hear their neighbour’s dogs, whilst only 3% could hear a neighbour’s heat pump unit.

Of course, the size of the heat pump system can mean a variation in sound level. Our calculations are based on an 8.5 kW system measuring between 45 and 58 decibels; however, the larger 11.3 kW system has a similar output, measuring between 45 and 60 decibels. 

Heat pumps are one of the quietest household appliances that homeowners could have, and they are just as loud, if not quieter, than a traditional gas or combi boiler.

Heat pumps vs traditional boiler – which is louder?

An image showing a traditional boiler alongside heat pumps, with their respective decibel levels above.

Our research has found that a conventional boiler can produce between 40 and 70 decibels, and a combi boiler measures between 35 and 65 decibels. As discovered, a heat pump can produce between 45 and 58 decibels, putting heat pumps on the quieter side and proving heat pumps are much quieter than they are perceived to be. 

Not only are heat pumps quieter, but they are fundamentally better for the future of our planet. Installing heat pumps on your property will no longer require you to rely on energy suppliers that use fossil fuels, and it could contribute to reducing your energy consumption by 40%.

How do heat pumps work?

An air source heat pump will extract heat from the outside air, converting low-grade heat into usable energy by passing it through a compressor with increased temperature. The heat is then used for space heating and hot water. An air source heat pump is great for homes in Britain, as they will work outside at temperatures as low as -20 °C. They can replace the use of fossil fuels to heat your home and are quick and convenient to install. 

If you are interested in making the move towards a more sustainable home, heat pumps are now more affordable than ever due to the government’s £7500 Boiler Upgrade Scheme (BUS). Get in touch to find out how to use this grant to replace your old boiler and save on your energy bills.


Green Building Renewables took the average decibels of an 8.5 kW Mitsubishi air source heat pump and revealed that it will run between 45 and 58 decibels. Desk research was conducted to find the average decibels produced by the most common household appliances. 

Written By:

john gilham technical manager
John Gilham
When it comes to renewables, our Group Technical Manager, John Gilham is a big deal! Both metaphorically and literally speaking; his massive knowledge about all things renewable and low energy is matched by his physical presence. In 2016, John co-founded GoEco Renewables with our MD Chris Delaney, which marked a pivotal moment in his career. The move reflected his commitment to sustainable energy and positioned him as a leader in the industry. Want to know more about John then click here: Read More

Reduce your energy bills with Renewable Technology

Speak with a member of the team today and we can talk through the options available for you.

Contact Us Today