Planning heat pumps acoustically sensibly

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According to the government, 500,000 heat pumps are to be installed in Germany every year from 2024. Although these represent a climate-friendly alternative to conventional oil or gas heating, they can be associated with enormous noise pollution.

dBEL.Architect berechnete LärmbelastungFigure 1: Noise pollution calculated with dBEL.Architect in the vicinity of a planned 20kW heat pump


In the private sector, heating is currently by far the biggest cause of carbon dioxide (CO2) and, quite logically, it is important to find solutions for this as part of the energy transition and to promote them in a targeted manner. The electric heat pump can be an efficient form of heat generation and thus make an important contribution to reducing CO2. Despite all the advantages of this technology, heat pumps can be associated with a relevant level of noise pollution and thus annoy neighbors as well as the builders themselves.We strongly recommend assessing the issue of noise from heat pumps early on in the construction planning. This is also confirmed by the Federal Environment Agency, which makes the following recommendations: “Sound power levels of 50-60 dB (A) are harmless for heat pumps installed indoors. Sound power from 50 dB (A) outside the house can be problematic for residents in the neighborhood (garden, etc.). This is especially true in quiet residential areas.” Further information at: https://www.umweltbundesamt.de/umwelttipps-fuer-den-alltag/heizen-bauen/waermepumpe#gewusst-wie.

Projects requiring approval:

Here we advise you to determine favorable installation positions as early as possible in the construction planning in order not to be confronted with high costs for soundproofing measures or the system type itself afterwards. The sound report then subsequently confirms the conflict assessment for the approval process.

Private construction:

In private construction, however, the rude awakening can only come after the construction has been completed: heat pumps that are operated in residential areas are considered systems that do not require approval and are usually not subjected to an acoustic test in the planning phase. Nevertheless, the systems are subject to the requirements of § 22 Para. 1 BImSchG, according to which harmful environmental effects, including noise, must be prevented are avoidable with the state of the art. In the worst case, this means that in the event of a complaint, by order of the authorities, a system must be retrofitted at great expense or operated inefficiently. The same applies, of course, if the client feels disturbed himself, which unfortunately is often the case.


In recent years, inquiries about noise pollution from heat pumps have been increasing in the acoustics consulting department of our company Wölfel – and the trend is rising. This problem can be counteracted very easily by carrying out a brief check of the expected noise pollution in the neighborhood and in your own construction project in the early planning phases, which can be done in just a few minutes with the cloud application dBEL.Architect. On this basis, an optimized installation position can be planned quickly and easily and/or the acoustic requirements for the heat pump can be determined.

Make an appointment now for the introduction of dBEL.Architect and optimally assess heat pumps!



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