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How to Reduce Noise from Return Air: Ductwork Noise Reduction

If you are working on your weekdays, then it is evident that you want to have a relaxed atmosphere at your weekends or other holidays. Now imagine that you have made plans with your loved ones and having a delicious lunch at your house, and suddenly your air conditioners start roaring! The sound is irritating and loud that you can’t even hear the music or television’s sound or even the other person’s voice or doorbell. What will you do when those noisy air ducts are ruining your Sundays?

This article will help you in reducing noise from the return air. Here you can get many ideas of soundproofing air vents. But before we go further, let’s discuss the reasons behind the airflow noise. 

What Makes the Airflow Audible?

You may know that high static pressure makes the airflow more audible. Generally, any electric system has some amount of static pressure. But when this pressure becomes too high, the ducts can’t cope up with the volume of the air that your machine is trying to pass. When the air volume exceeds the handling capacity of ducts, an irritating sound appears from that area, and you may experience loud noise. High static pressure is a common problem, and there are many ‘homely’ solutions for this issue. Read further to know how to fix the audible airflow.

How to Reduce Noise From The Return Air?

Before you take any actions, you must verify the actual problem. Sometimes, ducts are not the primary reason behind the noise. The moving air and some other factors such as closed vent dampers, bent or broken flex ducts, dirty air filters, etc. also play an essential role behind the loud noises. Thus, it is advisable to consider these noise reduction basics. 

  • One closed vent may not make much noise, but when there are more than two dampers closed at the same time, it may affect negatively.
  • Any closed vents actually put stress on your HVAC appliance. Thus, it is crucial to keep them all open to make your system less noisy.
  • Check all the flexible ducts. If any of them is not appropriately installed or already bent, they may create noise.
  • Any sagging or bending activity makes it harder for your system to move air. Eventually, they can become a threat and increase static pressure.
  • It is obvious that the air filters and ducts gather dust and dirt over time. Such a build-up makes it hard for your equipment to move air smoothly and make noise.
  • Cleaning or replacing the air filters can keep the ducts intact and ready to use. Dirt-free tubes can pass the airflow easily and reduce the noise.

Once you are done with all these points mentioned above, try to observe keenly about the system noise. If the irritating sound is still there and not at all reduced, you have to take some additional steps to quiet a noisy air return. 

Ideas and Checklist for Reducing Noise from the Return Air Grille

Reduce Fan Speed

When it comes to any HVAC installations, it is crucial to do a perfect configuration. But who can guarantee that in this fast, running world? Believe it or not, most of the time, the fans are set at high speed that may not deliver the proper airflow per ton but surely be the reason for the excessive sound. 

If you have a doubt that your fan is the main reason for all the noise entering your bedroom, then decrease the fan speed. Selecting a lower fan speed can reduce the static pressure and so the air noise. If you think that your system is working correctly and fan speed is not an issue, then don’t reduce it. Decreasing it when the system is appropriately set up may result in a lack of airflow; that may block the air from coming into your house.

Check Ducts

Sometimes, everything is perfect and not the size of the ducts. As you know, ducts play the most influential role in reducing the airflow noise, and you can’t compromise in that. When the pipes are too small to accommodate the volume of air, it increases the static pressure. To reduce the noise, you will have to arrange the larger ducts to make the air conditioner quiet. 

Install bigger ducts in the accessible area around your blower to increase the airflow area. If you have more than one zone in your appliance, then you can try adding more ducts. Such products are readily available in the market and can fit best to relieve pressure within the system. These ideas regarding ducts can eventually reduce noise.

Grilles Expansion

Most houses don’t have enough return air. So when you add or expand the grilles, you can reduce static pressure. This way, the system can quickly move the air and avoid excess noise. You can also switch all your registers or grilles with the high-velocity alternatives. Such appliances can allow more airflow and can easily reduce the static pressure.

You Got This!

According to our experiences, these are the most common ‘homely’ solutions for a noisy air vent. Even after checking and resolving all the possible issues, the annoying sounds are still there to torture you, take professional’s help. Call him to measure the static pressure in your system and ask for his opinion. Always remember that the noise itself is not your problem. You have to fix the part which is causing such noise.

Of course, there can be many other reasons and solutions. Share your problems as well as solutions with us via comments. Once you get rid of all the irritating noise, you can finally enjoy clean, fresh air without any return air noise, fine wine, and delicious dining.

Irene Lloyd

A Mechanical Engineer from OHIO and This Engineering is one of the oldest and largest disciplines of study, and I am working in this field form ten years. and now I am Writing Blogs on Work that I am Doing.

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