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How to Solve Noisy HVAC Operation

Are you finding yourself reaching for the remote to turn up the volume every time your HVAC system kicks on? Let's talk about how to reduce these pains.

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Revised:

September 23rd, 2022

Are you finding yourself reaching for the remote to turn up the volume every time your HVAC system kicks on? Can you feel the floor rumble as the air rolls through your ductwork? Are you tired of trying to speak louder on your patio each time your air conditioner kicks on? If this is the case, you’re likely suffering from noisy HVAC equipment. In this video, we’ll go over the cause and some ways to fix it.

Hi, I’m Roger with Fire & Ice. As a residential HVAC sales professional, one of the most common comfort concerns complained about is noisy operation. Considering your average air conditioner and furnace operate as loud as 74 decibels, it’s no wonder why this is a common problem homeowners face. In this video, we’ll go over the reasons behind the noisy operation and some ways to fix it. By the end of this video, you’ll have a better idea of how to solve loud HVAC operations.

What can cause noisy operations inside your home?

A number of factors go into how loud your HVAC system is when it runs. The first is the type of air conditioner or furnace you have. Single-stage air conditioners paired with a furnace with a fixed-speed blower motor are notoriously loud. Why? Well, it’s because every time the system kicks on, it uses 100% of its total capacity. And that sudden push of air throughout your system can be rather loud.

Another contributing factor is how old the system is. Even the quietest, variable speed system installed several years ago will be louder than it was when it was first put in. Mainly because the parts start to wear down, and new sounds that didn't exist beforehand may start to show up.

The third reason behind the noisy operation is how the system was installed. In the late 1990s and early 2000’s, it was common for air conditioners to be installed on brackets off the ground. Over time, these systems became louder and louder as the brackets broke loose due to the system’s vibration that ran up into the walls. Additionally, when installing the indoor unit, static pressure is too high due to improper ductwork, and furnace installation can result in turbulent air rushing through your ductwork, causing further noisy operation.

Speaking of high static pressure. The last factor to consider is due to lack of regular maintenance. If your furnace’s filter goes too long without being cleaned, dirt and debris can build up in your system. Not only will this shorten the life of your system it can also lead to noisy operation.

 Top Ways to Reduce Noisy Operation

Now that we have a better understanding of the problem let’s go over some ways to help reduce loud operation.

 One of the easiest things to do is to change your furnace filters and have your indoor and outdoor unit serviced. A dirty filter is one of the biggest culprits to high static pressure, which is likely making your system work harder and be noisier. And having your systems tuned up and cleaned can help keep those noise levels in check. Especially if the noises you are hearing are a new development. In fact, the noises could be due to a damaged or broken part that needs to be addressed.

 Another solution is to upgrade your equipment. Now, we’re not suggesting you upgrade to a brand-new system if you recently installed a new one. If that’s the case, some other modifications to the ductwork or relocating the system might be able to be made to help. But if your system is older, it might be worth considering systems with newer technology that can ramp up and down and operate much more quietly. The quietest modern designs on the market come with variable technology and run as low as 50 decibels. For comparison, your average library is around 40 decibels.

One of the best ways to address noisy operation outside of upgrading a system is through proper installation practices. For example, installing outdoor equipment on the ground using a plastic pad is a great way to reduce vibrations and even absorb some noise levels. Additionally, modifications to your ductwork and adjusting the furnace’s blower to combat static pressures are great ways to lower nominal noise levels. And if you’re not in the market to upgrade your system, relocating the system can be an option as well. The bottom line is making sure to stay on top of routine maintenance and changing your filter can be the easiest long-term solution for solving noisy operations.

What are the next steps?

I hope by now you have a better understanding of how to solve loud HVAC operation in your home. If you feel one of the solutions we just discussed is right for you, click the free estimate at the top of the screen. We’d be happy to sit down with you and discuss your options. Thank you for watching, and we look forward to making your day better.

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