I am an exceptionally light sleeper. Every little noise wakes me up out of a deep sleep. I get disturbed by traffic, birds, neighbors, and barking dogs. In the winter, whenever the furnace starts up, I am woken up. Although I’ve had the furnace professionally serviced, I still hear the rattle of the ductwork and the whoosh of air coming from the supply vents. I’ve invested quite a bit of money into insulating the ductwork, and adding soundproofing insulation to the walls and ceilings. I still need to sleep with earplugs to avoid hearing the heating system. In the summer, I tried getting by with box fans and open windows. I hoped that the operation of the fans would drown out the exterior noise pollution, but it didn’t work. When a road crew started construction directly in front of my house, I knew it was time to invest in air conditioning. I was worried, however, that the air conditioner would be as noisy as the furnace.
I started researching to figure out which make and model achieved the lowest sound levels. I came across electric heat pumps, which are supposed to be exceptionally quiet. Although a heat pump is quite expensive to purchase and install, they are wonderfully energy efficient. Plus, the heat pump provides both heating and cooling capacity.
In the summer, it works exactly like a central cooling system. When the weather turns colder, it reverses operation, finding ambient heat in the outside air and pumping it indoors. The ductless heat pump is far more energy efficient than my furnace, and much quieter. Unfortunately, it is only able to handle demand until the outside temperature drops below freezing. At that point, the furnace takes over and I need to rely on my ear plugs again.