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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    9

    Loud induced draft blowers

    I am looking to replace my old oil furnace in my home this summer with a new natural gas system now that we have access to natural gas in the neighborhood. I have gone around to friends houses that have relatively newer gas furnaces, and inspected their equipment and the installations to decide on what and who I want to install my equipment. One thing I have noticed is that the draft blowers on the new gas furnaces sound like small vacuum cleaners running! My parents installed a Bryant induced draft furnace back in the 80's, and the draft blower in it made no more noise than a desk fan running. You could hear a dull rush of air, but easily dampened by closing a closet door.

    My equipment is going in a closet that is beside a basement home theater room. The oil furnace in there now makes a bit of noise that can be a little objectionable, but I was hoping a new gas furnace would be quieter, but every one I have seen appears to be noisier than that 20-year old Rheem with a Beckett AFB. The units I have seen were from Heil, Lennox, Trane, and Carrier... I'm leaning towards a Rheem system, but don't know of any installed yet to observe. I have heard though that they were one of the noisiest brands, so that may take them off the list!

    Looks like I may need to do some construction mods to dampen the noise after the new system is installed, unless any of you all know of a particularly quiet model available that has good noise performance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2010
    Location
    Calgary, Alberta
    Posts
    1,110
    Hi efficiency furnace installed correctly should be nearly silent with the doors on as long as you don't buy the builder grade furnace.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    9
    Okay, that probably explains part of it...Many of the ones that I inspected were installed in newer homes, and were builder-grade 80% units. Also, in my curiosity to watch the workings do their thing, we took the cover panels off during operation! I did noticed a 95% Lennox in a friend's older home was a bit quieter than the 80% units though. I plan to install a 95% model

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Keokuk, IA
    Posts
    5,520
    Also keep in mind that if in an attic, if not isolated properly, you can get some vibration through the joists. Also, if the blower is very very quiet (such as a very well installed ductwork), the ID fan can be noticeable. I can very faintly hear the ID fan on my Infinity furnace in my attic. But I also have no attic floor insulation and the airflow and blower are completely silent unless you're literally in the attic 2' away. My modulating furnace in the basement is completely silent unless you 1' away. It's easiest to tell if the furnace is running by placing my hand on the vent to see if its' slightly warm. Actually the noise of the water dripping into the floor drain is louder than the unit.

    But as mentioned, my older 92% builder grade units I removed were a LOT louder both the blwoer and ID fan. Right before I repalced it, it was probably ready to have hte flame sensor cleaned because I could hear when it failed to light and it made a pretty good "whoosh"... a little disconcerting actually... when it lite. When it failed, I'd sometimes tell my wife "swing and a miss... strike 1". She'd give me a weird look. Then I tell her the furnace just failed to light on the 1st try. Of coruse if it made it to strike 3 (which it did twice in the last 2 months), it meant I had to go cycle the power to reset it.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2000
    Location
    Indianapolis, IN, USA
    Posts
    34,179
    If you are leaning Rheem, look into the Modulating furnace with matching thermostat. It will spend most of its time on low, 40% which will be virtually inaudible.

    Most noise with today's 90+ furnaces is air noise. Oversized furnace and/or undersized duct system. These 95s especially need to move a lot of air to get their efficiency and the variable speed blower tries harder to do so adding to the noise.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec 2011
    Posts
    9
    Good idea BaldLoonie. I was originally looking at a 2 stage furnace, but may need to look again at the modulating ones. Airflow noise I don't think is going to be too big a deal. The furnace installed now is grossly oversized (135K BTU handling a 2100 sq/ft house) especially since the house has upgraded insulation and new windows since it was built in the 50's. It's got all metal ducts too. If I'm getting a furnace half the size of what's in there, which I imagine is what's going to be spec'ed after a good load calc, airflow noises shouldn't be too much more. Besides I don't mind the white noise from the forced air as much, especially upstairs in the sleeping areas where it would drown out snoring and other then neighbors dogs barking. What I don't want is a the screaming / whirring / buzzing noises that would disrupt the home theater down in the basement.

    Motoguy....you have done the same thing as me when I knew the old furnace needed serivce. I would hear the burner click on and then I start counting 1...2...3...thunk! OOPS! Time for a tune-up!

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Northeast Ohio
    Posts
    4,842
    Even Luxaire's entry level TG9 is quiet.
    A good HVAC tech knows how, an educated HVAC tech knows why!

    DEM


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