HVAC Noise Levels: What's Normal & What's Not

HVAC Noise Levels: What’s Normal & What’s Not  

Your home’s heating, cooling, and ventilation system is going to make noise, and most of the time, that noise will be a normal side effect of the system’s operation. But if you’ve just moved into a new home and turned on an HVAC system with which you’re not familiar, you may hear sounds that don’t seem right.

Each HVAC system can vary a bit in terms of sounds, so some differences aren’t necessarily bad. Read on to discover the typical and no-so-typical noises your system may make. 

The Hum

If your HVAC system is working, it’s going to hum whenever the fan starts blowing air out the vents. Most of the time, this should be a rather quiet hum that sounds very even in tone (just like a fan). It’s when the hum gets a lot louder that you want to call a professional repair person. If the only change is in volume, and that change was gradual, the problem is likely buildup of dust and debris on the filter and in the system. Call an HVAC repair company; they can clean out the system and check it over.

However, if you’re hearing a hum coming from inside the system when no air is blowing out, that could be an electrical issue, and you need to have that repaired fast. Call an HVAC company and have them confirm what’s causing the hum.

Rattling or Vibrating

Rattling or vibrating often indicates that something is broken or loose. It may be as simple as tightening a loose bolt, but you don’t want to ignore it because it could be something much more serious. And even a simple loose bolt can lead to bigger problems if left unaddressed.

A Clicking or Banging Sound 

Sometimes you hear sounds that occur at regular intervals but are not quite as fast as rattling or vibrating. You may hear clicking, which can indicate a problem with the furnace ignition if you hear it when the heating is on, or there could be something broken in the compressor if the cooling is on.

If it sounds like something is hitting something else, the fan may either be breaking down, or it has something caught in or near it. This needs to be addressed. 

Popping and Other Uneven Sounds

As with other sounds, these could be normal or abnormal depending on the sound and where it’s coming from. Random popping from metal ductwork when you’ve just started up the HVAC system may actually be the ducts expanding as the metal is exposed to the air coming through. Popping that continues throughout your use of the HVAC system, though, or those that are very loud, aren’t normal. Those are sounds you’d want someone to investigate.

If you hear other uneven sounds like thumps or tumbling, and the sounds often appear to shift locations, you could have pests in or near your ductwork. Remember, small animals can chew through a lot, and they can squeeze through small spaces. If your metal ducts are old and corroding, there could be holes. The pests could also be outside the ductwork and simply near enough so that their movements echo down into your home. In either case, you need to have an HVAC technician inspect the system to ensure the ducts haven’t corroded.

Call for Repair When You Hear an Unusual Sound in Your HVAC System

Hearing an odd sound from your HVAC system is never comforting, but being able to have the system checked out and fixed is a relief. If you need emergency HVAC repair in Douglassville, PA, or need any HVAC repair in Denver, PA, and the surrounding area, contact Taylor Home Comfort immediately.