Let’s start off today with what I consider to be a bold statement. A properly designed HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) system should never been seen, felt, or heard. You should just walk into the home or office and whatever the temperature is set at on the thermostat is what it feels like in the area. I am not going to go into all the factors that are part of designing an air conditioning system for proper comfort and cooling, today I want to focus on decibel ratings.
One of the biggest complaints I get, especially on the residential side, is why is this air conditioner so loud? There are multiple reasons that an air conditioning unit can be loud so shall we count the ways?
First off, was the right equipment chosen for the space in which it is being installed? I have a book of possible air conditioning systems that can be installed that is around fifty pages thick with around four to six combinations of indoor and outdoor equipment that, we as air conditioning contractors, can choose from. That means for each size air conditioner out there I usually can offer up to ten different options on choice of system, each having different features and benefits. It is imperative that when an HVAC contractor is helping you choose you new comfort system they look first and foremost where the air handler is located, and with what style and type of ductwork.
An air handler (the indoor unit) has three basic parts which are a coil, blower and heater. There are other smaller components as well, however, those are the big three. That said; certain manufacturers have designed an air handler that has the blower assembly on the bottom with the coil in the middle and the heater on top. This type of unit is the opposite of the traditional coil on the bottom, blower in the middle and heater on top. The unit with the blower on the bottom is one of the biggest culprits when it comes to being flat out loud. Put one of those units in a closet, in a hall, in a house with tile floors, and you have achieved a perfect disaster when it comes to noise.
One of the next biggest considerations when it comes to noise is the ductwork in the home or business – is it properly sized? Ductwork that is too small results in higher air velocity which in turn creates that wonderful jet engine sound coming from the ducts. The faster the air is moving the louder it gets. Ducts that are oversized can also lead to improper cooling so ensuring that the ducting is correct with your new air conditioner is paramount.
A new air conditioning system is expensive and while price is always a factor, please do yourself the favor of making sure your contractor looks at all the things that make up the air distribution system in your home and digs deep to make sure you are not only get the cooling but the quiet you so richly deserve.
On a final note, this weekend I joined procrastinators anonymous, I’m just waiting for the first meeting to be scheduled.
House Whisperer out!!!
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