Ways of Reducing HVAC Noise
An HVAC system is designed to keep the entire building cool or warm, depending on the time of the year. To do this, it pumps out a large volume of air. When the air is circulated through the ducts and vents in the ceiling, it is sometimes accompanied by a lot of noise. This noise can come in all shapes and sizes from fans whirring to high-pitched squeaks and whistles as air escapes. The amount of noise your HVAC produces is directly proportional to the amount of air it pumps out, so the more heating or cooling you want, the more noise you get. HVAC systems are generally noisy and annoying to a person forced to listen to them all day, but design and construction have techniques to make them quieter. Here are a few ways to reduce HVAC noise.
1. Seal Air Leaks
Air leaks are one of the main causes of noise in HVAC systems. This is because a lot of the air pumped through the system is pushed out from gaps in the sides of the ducts. The more air that can escape, the louder your HVAC will be. You can reduce these leaks by stiffening up your ducts, adding foam baffles to the walls, or using gaskets and other sealing products to prevent air from escaping. Also seal doors, vents, and windows, plus any holes punched into the walls where ventilation systems leak the air.
2. Upgrade Your HVAC System
Most HVAC systems come with a blower motor that is loud when it’s running. This means that you may wish to upgrade your system to a quieter one if you want to reduce the noise from the equipment. You can replace your compressor or add one or two additional compressors. If you choose to add one or two more compressors, make sure that they are matched in size and efficiency to the existing ones so that they don’t overheat the current components by drawing too much current.
Also, if your system is 15 years old or more, you should consider simply replacing it. The fans, compressors, and other parts are most likely wearing out, causing the system to be noisy. Replacing everything with a newer, more efficient, and quieter system will certainly cut back on the noise.
You can ventilate your HVAC system through several routes, but the best one is generally through the walls or ceiling, making for an extremely quiet unit. Ensure to ventilate it through a sealed-off area and not through the attic or a crawlspace, which can cause leaks and drafts. You also have to ensure that the air vents outside your home are screened so that bugs and animals don’t get in.
4. Choosing the Right Location
Another thing you can do to reduce noise from your HVAC system is to choose the ideal location for it in your home. You don’t want to place it far from your central location, which might make it work harder, but you don’t want to put it next to your bed or besides a room where you spend a lot of time. You also want to make sure that there is enough space around the unit so that air doesn’t get pushed and pulled in strange ways, which also causes noise.
5. Insulating the Walls
Another method for reducing noise is to insulate your walls. This is usually done with spray foam, which conforms to the walls and holds air molecules at a higher temperature for longer periods. The result will be a quieter unit. If you are looking to reduce the noise from your system, consider insulation in your walls and ceiling and around the edges of your ducts and vents.
6. Cover Your Unit Using Soundproof Materials
If you can’t afford to insulate your walls or ceiling, you can still reduce the noise from your HVAC system by simply covering it with soundproofing materials. You can do this by placing a sound-absorbing material like fiberglass in the ducts or on the unit and covering your vents with foam.
For instance, acoustic foam is a great sound eliminator because it is made to absorb any noise inside the unit. Because it is designed to prevent sound from entering or exiting, you can use it on your ceiling and walls to prevent HVAC noise from getting out.
7. Install Flexible Ducts
Another great way to reduce the amount of noise your HVAC system produces is to install flexible ducts made out of rubber. The flexibility of these ducts helps them move air in the desired direction and reduces sound by allowing airflow to take different paths without becoming blocked. You can add flex into your ducts all around the house, or you can have a unit with a full fan on one side and a duct on the other side, with these items placed at a 90-degree angle. Your HVAC system will still be noisy, but the noise will be dissipated somewhat.
8. Get Duct Silencers
When your ducts are running through a wall, ceiling, or floor, you can reduce the noise generated by your HVAC system by using duct silencers. These are usually made out of steel or rubber and are filled with either sand or fiberglass. They take the noise from the HVAC system and absorb it into their material so that you cannot hear it as easily.
9. Purchase Compressor Soundproof Blankets
Compressor soundproof blankets, also known as “compressor pads,” are made of a safe material that wraps around the outside of the compressor. The pads are designed to be placed directly over the compressor and absorb any generated noise. They come in various colors and can be attached to your HVAC system in several ways to reduce the sound level.
10. Sound Maze
One of the easiest ways to reduce the noise from your HVAC system is to build a sound maze. This can be done with cardboard or wood and is an effective way to keep unwanted sounds from entering your home. It can easily be torn down and used again whenever you need it.
Sound mazes are effective and simple to make. When you put one together, you want to make sure that the sound silencer will block all of the sounds from your HVAC system. You also want to make sure that you can take it down quickly and easily for any future repairs or cleaning.
Schedule an Inspection
These measures can help reduce the noise from your HVAC system, but you will still probably have a few issues. If you already have ongoing problems with your HVAC system, you should schedule a consultation with a specialist who can provide you with an in-depth review of all your options for reducing the noise.
You can schedule an inspection by visiting us at Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning and filling out our online form. The technicians from Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning will come to your home, give you an honest assessment, and provide you with a quote for your HVAC system. We furnish heating, cooling, and indoor air quality installation, repair, and maintenance to residents of Seattle and all of Western Washington. We also offer water heater repair, duct cleaning, and the full range of electrical services. If you have any questions, call us today.