The good news is that modern heat pumps are now made in such a way that noise is kept to a minimum. For the most part, new models are far quieter than the older ones used to be. While the new units provide the same or greater amounts of heating and cooling, the noise level has been reduced to a fraction of earlier models.
The outdoor portion of the heat pump system is the only part that makes any noise. If this unit sits near a window, there is the slight possibility that a small amount of noise will be heard. Chances are, though, that anyone inside the home or office building will barely notice at all that the heat pump is running. Because of research, ingenuity and modern design, new heat pumps now on the market are among the quietest that have ever been made.
Vibration of the outside unit has been mostly eliminated, creating a unit that practically purrs. The tweaking and adjusting in design and manufacturing combine to make heavy vibration a thing of the past. The amount of noise generated from newer heat pump units is often compared to the small amount of noise you would hear from your refrigerator.
If the noise emitted from the outside portion of a heat pump causes any issues with a neighbor, it is possible to install sound panels that will help absorb the sound. Panels of this type should be weatherproof to withstand outdoor extremes. Thankfully, the problem of loud noise pollution from a heat pump’s outside unit is mostly a memory from a bygone era. With modern technology and proper placement, this type of problem has gone the way of the dinosaur.