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The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. Blog

Common Repair Warning Noises From a Heat Pump


Heat pumps are wonderful devices, especially in warmer climates like we get to enjoy here in Tampa Bay. A heat pump can deliver all the cooling a home needs through the long and hot seasons, and then switch over to energy-saving heating during the short periods of cooler weather. It’s all there in one system, and it can make a difference in energy costs compared to using a combination of an AC and an electric or even gas furnace. 

But this marvel of comfort technology can still malfunction. Whether you have your heat pump in heating or cooling mode, it still operates in a fashion similar to an air conditioner and can encounter the same types of malfunctions as an AC. Many of these malfunctions make specific noises that will give you a warning that it’s time to call us for cooling/heating repair in Clearwater, FL.


These two noises probably come from the same source: leaks in the refrigerant line. The hissing sound is the high-pressure refrigerant escaping through leaks, and the gurgling is air bubbles that have entered the refrigerant line. Any loss of refrigerant is a serious situation for a heat pump, as it not only impairs its ability to condition the air, it will eventually cause catastrophic damage to the heat pump leading to compressor burnout. Experts must locate and seal the leaks, then restore the lost amount of refrigerant to the original factory-set level.


These sounds come from motors that are in trouble. A heat pump depends on several motors to operate: the motor for the compressor, the motor for the outside exhaust fan, the motor for the indoor blower fan. If any of these motors fail, the heat pump won’t be able to function properly. A shrieking sound is warning that the bearings in one of the motors are wearing down or have gotten dirty. Quick action to clean or replace the bearings will help prevent the motor from burning out. The grinding sound means a motor is probably burning out and needs to be replaced. 


You’ll hear some clicking during start-up, but if you hear it more than usual or it’s becoming louder, it’s often a warning that the compressor is hard-starting and drawing on too much power. This is something you’ll want fixed ASAP. Another possibility is dying capacitors, which will need to be replaced. 

Metal-on-Metal Clanging

This is an alarming sound, and it’s probably coming from a loose part in the heat pump in the blower assembly or misaligned/bent fan blades striking the casing. This will cause extensive damage if not stopped, so shut off the heat pump right away and call for repair help.


This could be just a loose panel on the indoor or outdoor unit of the cabinet, in which case you just need to re-latch it. But it could also be screws and bolts shaking loose or the cabinet starting to pull itself off from its base due to vibrations.

The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. serves our Tampa Bay family with integrity and honor. Call us for heat pump repair throughout Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties.

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