Air ducts are an integral component of all HVAC systems, yet they’re generally given little attention as long as home heating and cooling features are operating smoothly. However, if unusual duct noises catch your attention, you should read on to help identify and solve these noise problems.
Your ductwork system is generally installed out of sight in the basement, crawlspace or attic of your home, which can make it difficult to locate or identify duct noises. The following are examples of common ductwork noises, as well as possible causes and problems.
- Rattling and clamoring: Ducts are typically fabricated from sheet metal. When duct seams and connections at joints and diffusers loosen, the metal connections rattle and clamor.
- Popping and booming: Due to temperature and pressure changes, duct walls naturally expand and contract, which creates popping sounds. If ducts are installed against home structures and materials, a deep and loud banging noise may be heard when the ducts contract. Very loud bangs or booms may occur at the plenum and trunk connection, which undergoes the most extreme temperature changes.
- Whooshing or whistling: Under-sized ducts and duct obstructions can create irritating whooshing and whistling sounds from too much airflow or not enough ducting
- Squealing, screeching and/or grinding: All noises from ducts aren’t necessarily caused by the ductwork system. If you hear squealing, screeching or grinding noises, there may be some serious problems with the furnace, heat pump or A/C.
Some duct repairs, such as wrapping loose joints with approved HVAC tape, may be do-it-yourself projects for accessible ducts. However, more challenging duct modifications and repairs should be performed by a professional. Acoustic dampers may need to be installed or modifications may be necessary to distance ducts from structural framework.
A professional duct and HVAC inspection can help improve performance, efficiency and comfort, while enhancing indoor-air quality and home safety. If you would like expert analysis of duct noises in your Greater Kansas City area home, please contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling, Inc.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).
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