How to Quiet Noisy Air Vents in Your Home

How to Quiet Noisy Air Vents in Your HomeNoisy air vents: once you notice the sound, it seems impossible to ignore. Particularly in the dead of night, the noise emanating from HVAC air vents in the house can be quite conspicuous. Residential HVAC systems typically circulate an average of 800 cubic feet of air per minute through the ductwork, so there are lots of opportunities for noise-making. Most noisy air vents are associated with excess negative pressure in return ductwork, due to a few common causes.

  • Dirty air filter. If the air filter is clogged, pressure imbalances in ductwork occurs. This increases the likelihood of noises caused by air sucked into vents at increased velocity—usually high-pitched sounds. Monthly air filter changes keep air velocity in returns low and minimizes noise.
  • Obstructed air vents. Some people deliberately close supply vents to unoccupied rooms in the mistaken belief it saves energy (it doesn’t). In other cases, supply vents may be blocked by furniture or other objects. Obstructed supply vents also cause increased return ductwork suction—and more noise—as the system strains to pull more air through the returns. Make sure supply vents in every room are fully open and unobstructed for free flow of air.
  • Closed dampers. Small adjustable doors called dampers are integrated in your ductwork to regulate the airflow to individual rooms. If a damper loosens over time and closes, air velocity into returns in other rooms will increase and noise may become evident. An HVAC technician can test airflow into all rooms to detect a closed damper.
  • Temperature fluctuations. Most ductwork is metal and slightly expands or contracts as the system cycles on and off. This may generate popping or banging sounds that are amplified and distributed throughout the house. These noises emanating from air vents actually originate deep within the duct system and will require diagnosis by a qualified professional.

If noisy air vents are disturbing household peace and quiet, ask the professionals at Paitson Bros. for an inspection and evaluation. We’ve served homeowners of the Wabash Valley since 1922.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about noisy air vents and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “PathDoc/Shutterstock”

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