Any tips for quieting an HVAC air handler closet? - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 6 Old 06-11-2009, 08:12 AM - Thread Starter
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My dedicated home theater room is in a 'bonus' room above the garage. The good news is that this room has a dedicated HVAC system. The bad news is that the air handler for the HVAC is in a small closet at the back of the room and the noise from the air handler is quite noticeable. Since we live in Central Florida, the AC runs a lot when I'm up in the theater room.

I am looking for advice/recommendations on how to minimize the noise coming from the air handler within the closet. One challenge is going to be that the return duct for the air handler is directly below the air handler 'closet'.

Any advice/tips?

One thing that I plan to do is to add a couple more vents into the room. Currently there are only two AC vents into the room which produce a lot of wind noise because of the amount of air running through them. I assume that adding a couple more vents should reduce the wind noise? Would increasing the size of the current vents help/hurt the noise level?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 6 Old 06-11-2009, 08:22 AM
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Increasing the size of your "vents" and adding "vents" will decrease the air noise. As well, the design of the "vents" will make a significant difference in air flow noise. As you add supply "vents" you need to increase the size of the "return vent(s) as well.

Handler in closet.
Raise the air handler an inch or two and mechanically isolate the return duct from the air handler. Mechanically isolate the supply ducts from the handler. The air handler should be suspended using isolation hangers (www.kineticsnoise.com/hvac/suspended.html).
Install Dynamat sheets to the outside of the sheet metal panels of the air handler. Install another layer of drywall in the closet with Green Glue between the new layer and the existing drywall. Install a heavy solid core door with rubber gaskets, seals and sweeps (door becomes air tight). Line the walls and ceiling of the closet with duct board or linacoustic (if you use duct board, fiberglass side exposed to room, silver side to the wall).

Having fun yet?

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post #3 of 6 Old 06-11-2009, 11:54 AM - Thread Starter
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Dennis,

Thanks for the quick reply with all the helpful tips. Concerning your comment about the 'design' of vents affecting their noise level, what vent design do you recommend for reducing the noise produced?

Another item I've identified that should help reduce the noise level is that I will move the existing air handler return duct from being on the back wall of the theater room to being on the side wall of the 'closet' next to the air handler closet. This 'closet' is where my component rack is and is open to the theater room (ie, no doors) so it shouldn't adversely affect air circulation. I can also increase the size of the return opening which should reduce the wind noise as well as reduce the air handler noise within the theater room.
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post #4 of 6 Old 06-11-2009, 11:59 AM
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Nailor slotted bar diffusors are very quiet. www.nailor.com

Dennis Erskine CFI, CFII, MEI
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post #5 of 6 Old 06-11-2009, 01:23 PM
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If you can get away with no diffusers (no kids to drop hot-wheels into the ducts, wife doesn't object to a hole in the wall, discharge air isn't blowing right out at one of the seats) it will make less noise than having a diffuser fitted, and you will get more airflow too.

-Suntan
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post #6 of 6 Old 06-11-2009, 05:48 PM - Thread Starter
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Simply removing the two 12"x12" vents/diffusors in the ceiling made a HUGE difference in the noise with the AC running. My wife indicated she would be happy just leaving them off and painting the inside of the vent outlet boxes flat black like the rest of the ceiling.
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