A Short Guide to Choosing a Noiseless HVAC For Your Home

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Updated on Oct 23, 2023
5 min read
A Short Guide to Choosing a Noiseless HVAC For Your Home

Every HVAC system switches ON and OFF, and consists of multiple moving parts and motors that run while the system is in use in your Bay Area home. Depending on where you live, the size, and design of your HVAC system, and its features, you can expect some amount of noise created by the running system.

If the unit is too loud, it can greatly impact your daily life and hamper your work, sleep, or even daily conversations. When installing a new HVAC system or replacing the old one, ensure that you look for quieter systems that will not interfere with your day to day activities.

In order to select a noiseless HVAC system, you must first understand how noise coming from an HVAC is measured, what causes it and what features help in reducing it.

Understand the Decibel rating

The intensity of sound coming from HVAC systems is indicated by a decibel (dB) rating. An HVAC system with a lower decibel level is quieter. Different models and brands have different decibel ratings.

Decibel ratings can be easily understood in reference to daily activities. A quiet conversation at home is about 50 dB while one in a restaurant is about 60 dB. The sound of a vacuum cleaner or a running garbage disposal is 70 dB and 80 dB respectively. These sounds are considered ‘annoyingly loud’. HVAC systems that have a decibel rating of 50-60 dB are considered quiet.

Things that cause too much noise in the system 

Apart from the compressor itself, there could be certain issues in the system that cause too much noise. This can easily be avoided with regular preventive maintenance and regular inspection.

A. Moving parts 

An HVAC system consists of various moving parts that work together. These cause vibrations while moving and are thus loud. The stopping and starting of the fan causes a big noise itself.

B. Outdoor debris

Broken twigs and leaves that fall into the exterior unit can cause a lot of noise too.

C. Worn parts or loose screws

Loose screws and bolts or parts that have undergone a lot of wear and tear can cause rattling inside the system, adding to the noise.

D. Wrong sized HVAC system

If you install an undersized or oversized system for your home, the fan will either run constantly (in the former case) or face short cycling (in case of the latter). This will cause constant background noise while the system is running.

Focus on noise reducing features

While choosing an HVAC system, look for these features that help in reducing noise. 

A. Noise reducing fan blades

Some HVAC systems have fan blades that are specifically designed to make less noise. 

B. Variable speed fans

Variable speed fans can run at a lower speed as well, as compared to constant speed ones. They switch OFF and ON lesser and conserve energy.

C. Compressor insulation

A compressor cover can reduce noise coming from the outdoor unit.

D. Insulated base pan

An additional base pan under the air conditioner can reduce corrosion and noise.

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