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Noise Reduction Strategies for High-Velocity HVAC Systems

American Vintage technician installing a SpacePak vent

High-velocity HVAC systems like SpacePak and Unico are great home cooling options. They are especially popular among those in vintage homes thanks to the fact that they don’t need traditional air ducts to operate. For all their energy efficiency, ability to heat and cool rapidly, and their unobtrusive design, these systems can have or develop issues with noise. While it may not affect their function and is often less irritating than the cycling of traditional HVAC systems, noise from high-velocity heating and cooling can be unpleasant for homeowners. Here’s what you need to know to keep noise levels down.

Causes of Noise in High-Velocity HVAC Systems

The force of air coming through the air handling components means it will have an audible sound that becomes more noticeable as you get closer the openings. However, these issues can result in more noise than normal and are cause for concern:

  • Loose or compromised components.
  • Poor design and layout of the mini ducts.
  • Poor installation of air handler, ducts, and registers.
  • Poorly sealed connections and fittings.
  • Fan motor wear and tear.
  • Restricted airflow.

Another issue is age. The system may start degrading due to poor maintenance or simply advanced age, requiring certain components to be adjusted or replaced.

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Noise Reduction Strategies

Here are some of the factors to consider for keeping a noisy SpacePak AC or other high-velocity system from disturbing your peace.

  • Upgrade components: You can upgrade to a quieter fan unit or air handler by checking for products with a low decibel rating or features that mention sound reduction.
  • Dampen vibrations: Rubber pads, isolation mounts, or other vibration-dampening materials can be applied to the air handler.
  • Soundproof enclosures: Insulation or acoustic foam are good materials for constructing a soundproofing enclosure for the air handler.

Any of these solutions can provide some relief via HVAC noise control.

DIY vs. Professional Noise Reduction

While it may be simple enough to add some vibration-dampening padding or upgraded grilles, that’s about as far as it’s safe to go with DIY noise reduction. High-velocity HVAC systems rely on rigid parameters for successful operation, and odds are you’re likely to break or reduce the functionality of system components if you attempt to do something like install a quieter fan.

There’s also the very real risk that you will injure yourself or compromise your home’s structural integrity. Especially in older homes, where installers may have had to get creative with system design, there’s just too much that can go wrong with an attempt to get quiet HVAC systems out of a DIY weekend.

Instead, call an older home expert like American Vintage Home. Whether you’re trying to cut down on noise in your current system or want to make sure your new SpacePak or Unico installation will minimize sound, we’re ready to provide the solution.

Schedule an appointment with us and learn more about how to quiet your HVAC systems today.

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