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Grinding, Squealing and Screeching: Interpreting the Noises Your HVAC Makes

If something is failing or going amiss with your HVAC unit, chances are, your HVAC unit is letting you know something is not quite right. However, most of the cues come in the form of sounds that many of us may overlook. If you hear your HVAC unit grinding, squealing, screeching or squeaking, it is letting you know it needs help. I was unaware of these cues and overlooked them. It ended up costing me a lot of money in repairs. I want to make sure that does not happen to other people, so I made this website. I hope you learn how to interpret the noises your HVAC unit is making so you can get it the repairs it needs before you incur a costly repair, or worse, permanently ruin your unit for good.

Grinding, Squealing and Screeching: Interpreting the Noises Your HVAC Makes

3 Factors That Determine the Performance of Your HVAC Ductwork

by Billie Carlson

Ducted heating and cooling systems allow you to heat and cool your entire house from a central unit. One key component of a ducted system is the ductwork, a series of conduits that deliver and remove air throughout the house. Ducts play a critical role in determining the performance of a new HVAC system. Therefore, keep in mind the following factors that determine ductwork performance and efficiency.

Ductwork Sizing

Choosing the right size ductwork determines unit efficiency and longevity. Duct sizing also affects airflow and air pressure in the rooms. When sizing the ducts, you need to consider the following factors:

  • Size of individual rooms
  • HVAC system's heating and cooling capacity
  • Static pressure in the HVAC system

If you use small ducts in a large room, the ducts will deliver less air, resulting in hot and cold spots and inadequate heating and cooling. If you use large ductwork in a small space, the room will heat or cool too fast, which can cause your unit to short cycle. Different rooms may have different duct sizing needs. Therefore, your contractor should assess these parameters to size the ducts correctly.

Duct Material

Galvanized steel, aluminum, fiberglass, and plastic-covered wire coil are the popular materials used in HVAC ducts. Galvanized steel and aluminum are sturdy and durable materials. They also have a smooth inner surface that reduces friction, improves airflow, and simplifies cleaning. On the downside, these two materials are costlier than other options.

Fiberglass ducts have a sealed lining that minimizes heat gain and heat loss, thereby increasing the efficiency of your system. They are also affordable than sheet metal ducts. However, their design results in a textured surface that allows dirt and debris to get trapped in the crevices. Therefore, they are harder to clean and maintain.

Ducts made of plastic-covered wire coil are the most flexible. They can be installed in bends, corners, and hard-to-reach areas. These ducts are also the most affordable. However, their ability to bend makes them vulnerable to punctures and leaks, which can compromise efficiency and air quality.

Ductwork Location and Installation

The location of your ductwork can affect its efficiency and performance. If you install ducts in uninsulated rooms, the air in the ducts will lose or gain heat. Therefore, your unit will work harder to heat or cool your home to the pre-set temperatures. Similarly, if you pass ducts through bends and curves, they may get punctures and leaks. The bends may also restrict airflow to the rooms. Therefore, choose a suitable installation path for your ductwork to minimize heat gain and loss and improve airflow.

Keep the above issues in mind when installing ductwork for your new heating and cooling system. Consult an HVAC installation contractor for more information.