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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    254

    Quieting HVAC in small condo not easy

    Most know mine and others setup by now. Small 887 ft condo, new ac/furnace.
    The hallway closet right off the living room has a large return cavity below it.

    It was making a helluva noise. I tried lining it with 2" 80% cotton roll from a soundproofing net site. It did wonders for the sound...only...it sucked up
    the smell from that stuff.

    I know DASH has reply posted about vanes and right turns...but that just doesn't work when the HVAC closet is practically in your lap.

    I ran the AC and was gone for 4 hours...when I got back, I could "smell"
    that "quieting" material I bought off the net. Natch. Whatever I line my
    return cavity directly below my HVAC closet is going to transmit the smell of same
    thruout my condo. Lesson learned (imagine what the smell will be like when I run my furnace). I will now do as many suggested here
    and settle for lining that return cavity with nuetral smell plenum board/duct board.

    Question: Duct plenum/duct board has silver paper on one side...fiberglass
    in the middle..and a thin neutral smelling sound absorbing material on the
    the backside. Instead of having the silver side out, should I reverse it and
    have the sound absorbing part facing outward?

    Also, In my zeal to quiet my hallway closet HVAC, I lined it (after they lined the closet with ductboard) with a closed cell foam blocking/absorbing material. Again..off one of those "sound absorbing"
    net sites. Well...that stuff kinda stinks of "technology" as well. I may rip that out.

    Most here deal with big homes and well established systems and ductwork.
    Have pity on the small condo owner. Don't tell me that my AC company should deal with
    noise..cause they just don't want to deal with it. I do.

    Replies? Keep in mind my HVAC is in my lap...not down in a basement.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    Central Maryland
    Posts
    246
    Quote Originally Posted by caslon View Post
    Replies? Keep in mind my HVAC is in my lap...not down in a basement.
    Most foam materials off-gas for a while and then settle down, unless heated or exposed to solvents.

    Most cotton materials are treated with Lanolin at some point in their processing.

    You might try washing the sound absorbing material and letting it sit out for a few months.

    Curiously, it doesn't matter much which way a soft-sided panel is laid. When hit by sound from either side, the hard side will reflect much sound, and transmit the rest, and the soft side will reflect almost none and absorb only a little. The cumulative affect is about the same amount transmitted through from either side. The only difference is which side you get more echo on, well, that and aesthetics.

    -HF

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,334
    Its the roughness of the fiberglass that absorbs the sound.
    The fiberglass should face teh noise.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2002
    Location
    Houston Texas
    Posts
    6,326
    BT why do you always spell the teh?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Office and warehouse in both Crystal River & New Port Richey ,FL
    Posts
    18,836
    From your pictures,vanes and/or ductboard baffles could help.However you need a Pro to test the static,if you use baffles,due to the restriction the create.Ductboard for baffles.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Lancaster PA
    Posts
    68,334
    Because my fingers seem to like spelling "the" teh.

    For what ever reason, I hit the E first before the H 60% of the time.
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    How many times must one fix something before it is fixed?

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2003
    Posts
    1,996

    Is the furnace DV?

    Pulling combustion air from the space must allow the burner noise to filter in.
    A sealed combustion/DV system would have helped. Having the return directly
    next to the unit doesn't help. I suppose getting some return ductwork up into the ceiling
    is out of the question.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Aug 2003
    Location
    Fort Worth, TX
    Posts
    11,358
    Quote Originally Posted by beenthere View Post
    Because my fingers seem to like spelling "the" teh.

    For what ever reason, I hit the E first before the H 60% of the time.
    It's a common type-o. I find myself doing it, but I tend to edit as I go, backspacing and correcting "teh" to "the". Gets old after a few times. Microsoft Word does it for me when I use that program.

    For our condo dwelling friend, a consideration. If the condo has several bedrooms, and one of them is distant from the air handler, and the supply air noise within that room is acceptable, might that room serve your home theater needs? I've seen several dwellings where the home theater/media center was not located in the traditional living room spot, but elsewhere, which then made the living area more of a reading/relaxing/entertaining-conversational area.

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