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2 Causes of Noisy Ducts

Posted on Blog, Dirty Ducts, Duct Tips October 15, 2017

While it’s normal to hear some noise as your heating or cooling system turns on or off, a lot of noise could be cause for concern. When you have to turn the volume up on the TV or speak louder over the sound of the HVAC system, you may need to figure out what’s making all the racket. Noisy ducts could be to blame, which are typically caused by several HVAC issues.

High-Pitched Squeal

A squealing, high-pitched sound is usually caused by a lack of return air in the system. As your furnace or air conditioner runs, it pulls air from the returns, cools or warms it, and returns it through the vents. When the return is clogged or blocked, the system can’t run as efficiently, and the pressure could drop. As a result, the HVAC has to pull more air, resulting in that sound that almost sounds like a tuning fork.

You can try some DIY fixes, such as opening vents in every room, cleaning the grille over the air return, and swapping out the air filter in your furnace. If none of these help with the noise, contact an HVAC technician to figure out the cause. Adding extra insulation can also help quiet the ducts.


If you hear something rattling or clunking in the air ducts, this usually means that items are stuck in the system. Kids often put small toys down the vents when their parents aren’t looking, but other things in the ducts could include construction materials, nails, screws, or saw dust. Anything that shouldn’t be in the ducts will cause some noise as the air blows past it and moves it around, so this is a common cause of a rattling sound.

All Year Cooling offers service and solutions for noisy air ducts, so schedule a consultation and enjoy the silence while staying comfortable.


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