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Is Your Heat Pump compilant with the law ?

Updated: Jun 12, 2023

A gust of horror blew by, but there are some indications for that, and as the Romans used to say, "Dura lex, sed lex". When I write about a heat pump, I specifically mean an air source heat pump, because this type of heat pump has something that may cause legal problems. What is it? - well, it's the evaporator, commonly known as the external unit. The external unit has at least one heat exchanger and a fan, which is our hero today. The fan is a source of noise that can be a great starting point for an unfriendly neighbor to make the life of the heat pump owner miserable. Polish regulations say (I'm thinking of the Announcement of the Minister of the Environment on the permissible levels of noise in the environment Official Journal - 2014, No. 112), for example, in single-family housing during the day the sound pressure level should not exceed Lpa = 50dB (A) during the day and Lpa 40dB (A) at night.

From my point of view, the contentious issue remains whether these levels were specified for the property boundary or the building elevation, however, I have often encountered the opinion that it applies to the property boundary and I therefore safely assume this. The only question is how to calculate the acoustic pressure at the neighbor's property boundary? As I mentioned in one of my previous posts "Acoustics in HVAC, or what you need to know about noise," the parameter of comparison we always take into consideration is the level of acoustic power. Although it referred to indoor spaces, there is no other possibility here either. I would like to present one of the tools available in the IX-CHART program in the KOA module. It is a bit "hidden" so I will show where you can find it:

For the calculations, I assumed the following parameters:

  • Level of acoustic power of the heat pump Lw(A) = 65dB(A)

  • Distance from the neighboring plot boundary - R = 4m

  • The Q factor, which specifies the location of the noise source relative to surrounding obstacles - I assume 4

Result? - The noise level is Lp(A) = 48dB(A), which unfortunately is not in accordance with the regulations and the neighbor has a hook, as the level of acoustic power will be exceeded at night.

For this specific heat pump, it was only possible to achieve the permissible noise level at a distance of 10m!

The conclusion is that when locating the heat pump condenser, as well as any other noise source outside the building, one should pay particular attention to the noise level and calculate its target value at the boundary of the plot, in order not to expose oneself to unnecessary discomfort and additional costs related to the need to use remedial solutions. This can of course be done in the IX-CHART program.

The calculator can also be used for many other purposes, including calculating noise levels from various devices such as ventilation systems, fans, refrigeration units, and many others.

And that's it, thank you for taking the time to read this article. If this article brought something positive to your development and you want the site to continue to grow where I share my knowledge, give a thumbs up, leave a comment or share it. And of course, you can help yourself and me by purchasing a license or You can just buy me a coffee :)

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