Odd noises coming from a heating system are a very common thing, regardless of what kind of heating system you have. Not all of these sounds indicate a problem with your system, but some of them do. With regard to your heat pump, there are a few noises that you should keep a sharp ear out for. If you hear them, you should call a professional right away. Let's take a look at some of these noises, and why you should not ignore them.
Every heat pump, every forced air heating system, in fact, contains what is called an "air handler." This part is what is responsible for actually moving air around the home to heat it. The composition of these air handlers varies a little from system to system, but all of them contain a fan and a motor.
The motor is placed under a lot of stress whenever the air handler turns on, because it is responsible for moving a large quantity of air over a fairly long distance. Inside the motor are a number of bearings, which are lubricated to reduce the amount of friction on the motor during operation. These bearings are what allow the motor to last years, even under so much strain. If the bearings lose their lubrication and wear down, however, then the friction on the motor will gradually increase until it burns itself out. The grinding sound coming from your heat pump is often the sound of the bearings in the motor failing. You should call a professional right away to save your motor.
Gurgling or Hissing
The heat pump moves heat from one place to another by evaporating and condensing refrigerant. This makes the refrigerant the life blood of the system. If the refrigerant line develops a leak, it will slowly drain away all of the refrigerant until nothing is left for the unit to operate on. A leak that is actually loud enough to be heard as a gurgling or hissing noise is very large, so you don't have much time to call a professional before the system loses the ability to heat.
If you are having heat pump issues, call Lifeline Plumbing, Heating & Cooling. We provide heat pump repair throughout Wheaton.