Noisy HVAC ducts: What are they saying?

Air ducts are quiet, trusty carriers of heated and cooled air, but occasionally they can develop a loud, unpleasant noise.

There are several causes; some allow for a quick fix and some, unfortunately, indicate bigger problems.

First, the easy fixes:

• Are your air filters or ducts dirty? Accumulated dirt and sediment will impede airflow and make the system work harder, generating more noise. Changing the filter and cleaning the ducts will solve this problem.

• Did you close several vents? Closed vents also make the system labor more and sound louder. Some people close vents because they erroneously believe closed vents save power. They don’t. The treated air just backs up in the ducts.

Bigger problems

• Flexible ducts are prone to bend or sagging if they’ are reinstalled poorly. Then the ducts get louder, especially if they’re dealing with improper static pressure.

• Static pressure is the pressure needed by a fan to push and pull air through the duct system. At Dapper Ducts NYC, we use a measuring instrument called a manometer to determine the pressure.

If it measures above 0.82″ it means the ducts can’t handle the volume of air that your system is trying to move through the ducts. This creates noise and indicates your system is laboring rather than functioning efficiently.


• We would first try to adjust the fan speed, which may be too high.

• If that doesn’t help, your system may need more complicated solutions – newer, better fitting ductwork; new registers and grilles; or a bypass duct that cuts noise by relieving pressure.

One thing to remember: Noisy ducts are telling you that your system has a problem. If you wait too long, the ducts will get noisier and the solutions will get more complicated.

Dapper Ducts NYC technicians have the tools, techniques, and experience to handle all sorts of duct issues in our home or business. We serve all five boroughs of New York City.

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