HVAC sound levels shouldn’t be an intrusion on your household peace and quiet. Most systems are designed for quiet operation and, when all components are working in harmony, the sounds of cooling and heating usually fade into the background of normal activity. If you’re hearing a lot from your air conditioner or furnace, however, here are some factors to consider about HVAC sound levels.
Air Conditioner Noise
The outdoor component of a standard central air conditioner can be expected to produce noise levels that average about 60 decibels. Some new, very low-noise A/C units, however, produce far less. For comparison, a passenger car passing on a nearby street makes about 70 decibels and a home dishwasher or food blender about 80 decibels.
If outdoor noise produced by a standard A/C unit seems abnormal, or includes unusual sounds such as squeaking or rattling while the unit is operating, schedule a service call with your HVAC contractor to check for possible component failures.
When noise results from routine operation, an HVAC contractor may suggest extra options such as rubber mountings for A/C components and/or noise-absorbing material added inside the housing of the outdoor unit.
Unusual noise inside the house when a central A/C cycles on may be due to a worn or failing blower inside the indoor air handler or restricted air circulation caused by a clogged filter.
Furnace sounds inside the house are typically short-lived rather than continuous. Brief knocking or metallic noises from within the ductwork soon after the unit cycles on and/or turns off are usually due to normal expansion and contraction of metal as ducts heat up, then cool again. Squeaking sounds only when the furnace fan is running may be traced to a defective blower bearing.
One furnace sound should never be ignored. If you hear a noticeable instantaneous bang or explosive noise when furnace burners ignite, this could be a phenomenon called delayed ignition that could be dangerous. Contact a qualified HVAC contractor to have this noise checked out immediately.
For professional service to evaluate unusual HVAC sound levels, contact Cool Power.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Hauppauge, New York and the Long Island area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 631-292-0629.