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Dealing with Noisy Air Vents (in your Tacoma home)

by vscontent on May 12, 2016


Do you have air vents (including supply registers, floor vents, return grilles and ceiling diffusers) in your Tacoma home that make noise every time you turn on your HVAC? It’s normal for a vent to make some kind of noise, but a particularly loud and consistent sound might indicate a problem with your HVAC system. But don’t panic! There are other causes for noisy air vents or registers that you can fix yourself.

We’ve compiled a list of potential causes for you to investigate before calling a tech professional.

Blocked Vent – Are all your vents free from blockage? Furniture or objects that are placed in front of a return vent can cause loud noises. This is a common problem in many homes. Take an inventory of all your floor vents and make sure that they are free from obstruction.

Ductwork – Poorly-designed ductwork or ducts that are too small can create inadequate return airflow. Making your return vent bigger or installing an additional vent can help with the sound issues.

Dirty Air Filter – A dirty or clogged air filter can block the HVAC airflow. During peak HVAC seasons, the filter should be replaced every month. Try replacing your filter, which could be the cause.

Closed Vents – Sometimes homeowners close a vent to a room they don’t want to heat/cool. When a vent (or damper) is closed, it can put extra pressure on the duct system, causing your HVAC to work harder to distribute the air. This can also create a noisy air vent. Make sure that all of the vents in your home are open.


Loose Vent – If a vent has come loose, this can cause a rattling sound. Simply tightening the screws can eliminate the noise.

Obstructed Object – Sometimes small objects or debris can get stuck in a duct, which can also cause rattling. Unscrew and remove the vent, then investigate the duct with a flashlight.

Loose Ducts – A rattling noise might also be the result of loose metal ducts knocking against each other. Sometimes the sealing can fail in older duct system, which results in the connections falling. In this case, an HVAC professional should be called to make the repair.

After you have checked all of these common causes, the next step is contacting an HVAC professional to thoroughly inspect your system. A technician will check all of your HVAC components including the ductwork for airflow and static pressures. Remember that Pacific Air Systems can help you with all of your HVAC related problems. If you decide you need professional help regarding a noisy vent, give us a call at 253-292-3995 and we’ll schedule an appointment today!


For more advice on heating and cooling systems, indoor air quality, and air filtration systems, call Pacific Air Systems Heating & Cooling at (253) 292-3995 for a professional indoor air quality consultation!

Since 1984, we’ve proudly served homeowners throughout Federal Way, Graham, Spanaway, University Place, Steilacoom, Sumner, Lakewood, Puyallup, Tacoma and Gig Harbor.

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