July 6, 2017
Summer in Edmonton means residents will be using their central air conditioning more often. This season have you noticed odd sounds every time you turn your system on? Do you have air vents (these include supply registers, return grilles and floor vents) that have started to rattle or hum whenever the air is moving through the ductwork?
It’s normal for a central air system to make some kind of noise, but one that is consistently loud and obtrusive could indicate a problem with your HVAC. However, there are several other causes for vent noises – many of which you can fix yourself. Always Plumbing & Heating has compiled a list of common causes for you to investigate before calling a professional technician.
Closed Vent – An old tactic that homeowners still use is closing off an air vent to a room they don’t want to cool or heat. This is done under the mistaken assumption that it will save some money on utilities. In reality, this does little to save energy and has been proven, in some cases, to increase energy costs. Closing an air vent will also put extra pressure on your duct system, causing your HVAC to work harder to distribute the air properly. This pressure can also create noises in your vents. If you have closed vents in your home, try opening them and then running the central air. If the noise stops, consider keeping ALL of your vents open.
Blocked Vent – Do you have vents in your home that are blocked by furniture or other objects? Anything that blocks the airflow of a vent can cause a noise. This is one of the more common issues as vents are not always located in convenient areas. Drawers, couches and chairs will often be placed close to a vent, causing problems with the air flow. Check your home for any vents that might be compromised and consider removing the obstruction.
Dirty Air Filter – We are big proponents of keeping the HVAC filter clean. It’s the one simple DIY procedure that any homeowner can follow routinely. One of the results of a dirty or clogged air filter is a constant noise when the system is on. The blocked airflow is not only a noise problem, it can also make the system work harder; hurting the efficiency and longevity of your HVAC. During peak seasons, your air filter should be replaced every month. Try replacing (or cleaning) your filter to combat the noise issue.
Improperly Installed Ductwork – Poorly installed ductwork or ducts that are the wrong size (usually too small) can create inadequate return airflow. Have a professional technician check out your ductwork if you think it might be the problem. Replacing your return vent with one that’s a bigger size – or installing an additional vent can often help with the noise issue.
Loose Ductwork – Are you experiencing a constant “rattling” noise? This annoying sound could be the result of loose duct panels hitting each other. The sealing between older duct panels can sometimes wear, resulting in pieces falling out of place. The galvanized metal or steel panels will vibrate or “knock” when the forced air passes through. An assessment from a technician will be needed for this problem as well.
Loose Vent – This is one of the easier problems to fix. A loose vent will often vibrate as the air is passing through. Try pushing lightly against the vent the next time it is making a noise. If it stops, then it simply needs to be tightened.
Obstructions – Small objects or debris can sometimes get caught inside the ductwork, resulting in a rattling noise. If the noise sounds like it is coming from a specific vent, remove it and investigate the duct area with a flashlight. You might be able to remove the offending object yourself.
If these common causes are not responsible for the noise issues, you will want to call a professional technician to go over your entire HVAC system. A constant noise might indicate a more complicated problem. A licensed technician will assess all of the HVAC components (including the cooling, heating and ducts) to pinpoint the cause. Always Plumbing & Heating can help you with all your central air concerns. If you decide you need professional assistance with a noisy vent, give us a call at 780-489-8118 (Edmonton) or 587-601-1253 (Fort McMurray) and we’ll set up a maintenance appointment today!
Call Always Plumbing & Heating at 780-489-8118 or contact us online today to discuss your water quality options for your new home.