How quiet are air source heat pumps?
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How quiet are air source heat pumps?
Both the 13kW and 17kW Grant Aerona³ models have been awarded the Quiet Mark

The level of sound an appliance makes while operating and how loud it is are important considerations for homeowners when choosing a new heating system. All Grant air source heat pumps have low noise levels with both the 13kW and 17kW Aerona³ models being awarded the Quiet Mark. In this blog, we interview Simon Gosling from Quiet Mark to learn more about the importance of quiet acoustics.

Whether a product is installed inside the home or externally in the garden, its sound level and how noisy it is will be something homeowners factor in when making their decision as to whether or not it is right for their home. Air source heat pumps are positioned outdoors so the amount of sound they make can not only impact homeowners but also neighbouring properties. Heat pumps make a sound during operation when their fans rotate but with the Quiet Mark approved Aerona³ range, the sound produced is minimal (for example, the 13kW Aerona³ is 49.8dB) and is in fact quieter than many common household appliances, such as a washing machine.

The benefits that quiet products can bring to the home are broad. To discover more about how sound levels are assessed and why performance does not need to be compromised for quiet acoustics, we have interviewed Simon Gosling, Chief Marketing Officer at Quiet Mark and Host of The Quiet Mark Podcast.

Please share with us a background history of Quiet Mark and what the organisation strives to achieve?
Simon “Quiet Mark is the independent global certification programme associated with the UK Noise Abatement Society charitable foundation (est.1959). Through scientific testing and assessment, Quiet Mark identifies the quietest products in multiple categories spanning many sectors, including: home appliances and technology, building sector materials and commercial sector products.
          “Quiet Mark certification is the unique consumer and trade champion mark of approval and resource platform. It provides reliable and independent information about the sound a product makes and approved noise reduction performance before purchase, with the primary focus to improve health and wellbeing.”

The Quiet Mark logo is well recognised and often sought for by homeowners – what does a Quiet Mark accreditation symbolise?
Simon “Quiet Mark makes it easier for consumers and commercial buyers to find the quietest household products and building materials. Whenever people see our distinctive Q logo on a product, they trust that it has been tested to the highest acoustics standards and certified as one of the quietest available on the market.
          “Between only 10% to 20% of the quietest best performing products are awarded Quiet Mark certification. Each product category is re-evaluated annually to reflect new models coming on to the market. Quiet Mark has partnerships with many of the biggest names in UK Retail, including Argos, John Lewis & Partners, and VERY. Each with their own Quiet Mark pages on their websites to help their customers create the quietest domestic soundscapes for improved acoustic comfort within their homes.”

Why is it so important that consumers consider the acoustics of a product, such as an air source heat pump?
Simon “Noise is unwanted sound. The damaging effect of excessive noise on health, productivity and social cohesion is seriously underestimated. World Health Organization research shows that environmental noise pollution affects mental and physical health and is now second only to air pollution as the world’s largest killer pollutant. In our fast-paced lives, vibrancy is exciting and necessary. But this heightened state can only be valued if there is also the opportunity to choose the alternatives of calm, quiet and the chance to switch off.
          “Quiet Mark helps consumers refine their aural environment as Soundscape becomes the new design priority to support a vital health balance. If a sound is perceived as too loud or has an irritating quality or is unable to be stopped, there will be both physiological and psychological reactions which could be detrimental to health and wellbeing. By choosing quieter technology and effective acoustic solutions, a serene backdrop can be created to rebalance well-being at home, work and in every living space.”

The Grant Aerona³ 13kW and 17kW heat pump models have the Quiet Mark – please can you explain what you look for when assessing products?
Simon “For Quiet Mark, noise is a key part of the performance criteria we look at. With an external fan unit, it’s important that an air source heat pump does not disturb you, your neighbours or any surrounding wildlife when working. All air source heat pumps feature fans which make a sound when they rotate but, with all the Aerona³ units, their sound levels are quieter than many household appliances.”

Can you describe the assessment heat pumps undergo and what standards they are required to achieve to earn Quiet Mark accreditation?
Simon “All heat pumps are tested to the same standards which gives a decibel level while the product is in operation. Quiet Mark has extensive databases of these levels and splits the heat pumps into like-for-like sizes so we are not comparing a heat pump for a small house, to one suited for a much larger property. From our market wide datasets we are able to determine the models with the lowest noise output, where around 20% of the market is eligible for Quiet Mark certification.”

Where can homeowners visit to learn more about products and acoustics?
Simon “Our website - www.quietmark.com - lists over 1,000 Quiet Mark certified products, across over 60 product categories, providing homeowners with a resource to create peaceful living. In addition, for anyone wishing to learn more about quiet products, and acoustics, each month we publish our free digital newsletter, QUIET TIMES - your sonic news bulletin, seen here: www.quietmark.com/quiet-times.
         “Finally, there’s also The Quiet Mark Podcast, which has recently been included in Best Startup's 20 Best UK Health Podcasts of 2021, and is one of the top 10% most popular shows out of 2.4M podcasts globally, ranked by Listen Score. I am the host and the series uniquely explores the vital role acoustics will play in the future of global living, building and product design sharing conversations with thought-leading designers, architects, and sound experts.”

Please follow the link here to read more about Grant's quiet operating air source heat pumps and to download a copy of the range brochure which includes the sound level data for all the heat pump models.