Picture this common HVAC nightmare scenario. A young couple settles in on the couch for a cozy night of watching tv in their new home. With lights dimmed and blankets curled around them, they are tucked in for the evening and engrossed in their show. Until…
CLICK! CRANK! RRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.
The A/C roars into high gear, completely drowning out the tv and annoying the couple. Night after night. Exasperated, they call you, their contractor, begging you to put an end to the noise once and for all.
Sound familiar? One of the most common call backs after an installation is to repair a noisy unit. It can also be one of the more challenging issues for technicians to solve. After all, everyone hears noises differently: what a contractor may consider quiet might be unacceptable to a homeowner. Plus, some noisy vibrations can be fixed easily while others have no simple solutions.
Based on market research, we believe at Bosch that it could be advantageous for contractors to consider selling quiet products to reduce these kind of nuisance calls. What’s more, new innovations make it possible to install quiet units even in the condo and equipment/mechanical room market, where space is often limited.
Here is what we have learned over the years:
We can all probably agree that no one is exactly clamoring for louder heat pumps. However, are customers willing to invest in a quieter product? Our research indicates yes.
In 2015, Bosch engineers and product managers began brainstorming ways to further optimize our heat pumps for condo owners. First, they surveyed more than 500 users from across North America to learn about their purchasing criteria. Reducing noise ranked high on the priorities list at #4, second only to efficiency, reliability, and price. Importantly, noise was rated the greatest source of dissatisfaction by participants.
We realized there was a clear demand for quieter heat pumps in the condo market. Meeting this demand, however, would be no small feat. Traditionally, creating a unit compact enough to fit inside a maintenance closet or other small space meant sacrificing the sound quality. Our engineers set out to invent a heat pump that could be as unobtrusive as possible, both in terms of size and sound.
Five years in the making, Bosch has released the Greensource i Series WQ Model for the residential market--the quietest heat pump in our line and an industry leader in noise reduction. Featuring Bosch-patented noise insulation technology, this whisper quiet unit is quiet, efficient, and compact, making it an excellent choice for retrofits and new construction.
To optimize sound performance in the small cabinet, Bosch engineers innovated the following:
- Upgraded the fan to the newest technology
Highly efficient, the DEC Star® Blower runs at a lower RPM (revolutions-per-minute) but delivers the same amount of air as the preceding SV Model, resulting in decreased power consumption and sound. Since the fan is offset, air can enter the blower much more freely. When all is said and done, the lowest overall round rating for the WQ is 53 dB. To frame this in lay terms for your customers, this is about 7 dB softer than the sound of ocean waves.
- Targeted the compressor with Bosch-patented noise insulation technology
The WQ comes equipped with Bosch-patented compressor encapsulation. The unit’s unique sound package includes an insulated blower and cabinet insulation, which dampen unwanted noise. The product also includes an elevated compressor floating base plate, ensuring air-tight encapsulation around the compressor. All of this helps to trap sound inside the unit.
Overall, these innovations reduce noise by 7 or 8 dB, which is significant for heat pumps.
Ready to begin researching quiet products? Here are some tips:
- Look for high efficiency products: High efficiency equipment tends to have better sound proofing.
- Check out the compressor: Quiet products typically feature a two-stage compressor—most likely an ECM variable speed blower—as well as a better isolation pad under the compressor. Combined, these features serve to create a much quieter unit compared to the lower efficiency equipment.
- Visit the WQ page to learn more about Bosch’s latest residential heat pump: The WQ includes most of these features at a lower price point. That makes this product a win/win for contractors and homeowners. When installed correctly it should eliminate most types of nuisance noise service calls. Learn more: Greensource i Series WQ Model