Bang, Boom, Pop! Common Duct Noises Explained

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Bang, Boom, Pop! Common Duct Noises Explained

duct noises

If your home is like most, it has its own set of peculiar sounds. These noises can result from a variety of causes, though usually they're either the house shifting or sounds in the ducts. When you hear banging or popping coming from above ceilings or behind walls, you can bet that you're hearing duct noises.

What Makes Duct Noises?

Usually, these noises are a result of duct expansion. This occurs when conditioned air moves through the ducts at high enough pressure to force the duct walls to expand.

If you've had a professional duct cleaning recently, don't be surprised if you start hearing duct noises from pressure expansion. When the technician removes dust and debris from the ducts and other parts of your HVAC system, the air flows through the ducts at higher pressure. The result? Expanding duct walls and that familiar popping noise.

How the ducts are shaped also plays a role in how much noise the ducts make during heating and cooling. Rounded ductwork handles air pressure better than square ducts, since round shapes hold their form better than square. Rectangular ducts make make the most noise as a result of duct expansion.

Fortunately, the popping noise related to duct expansion is perfectly safe. It means your central heating or cooling system is doing what it's supposed to be doing – efficiently routing conditioned air to your rooms.

You'll want to make sure, however, that you can differentiate between duct noises – that popping and banging – and the small boom that's the result of delayed ignition in your furnace. This is a more serious problem that results from one or more dirty or rusted burners. The gas is blocked temporarily and makes a small boom when it finally combusts. When this happens, contact a reliable HVAC technician to check your furnace. If you schedule annual maintenance on your heating system, you shouldn't have to worry about this happening.

For more information on duct noises and annual maintenance on your home's heating or cooling system, please contact us at Cool Care Heating & Air, serving the Columbia area.

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