Q&A / 

Vent Makes Noise

Kathy Burke now lives in a noisy house in Chatham, Ontario, Canada.

She caused the problem, but didn't mean to.

A cold-air return vent makes noise.

Here's her full report:

"We have a small 950 sq. ft home with two return vents.

We have never covered this one vent since living here as it was behind a cabinet.

I purchased a cover and when it is put over the vent, the pull of air is so strong the vent whistles loudly.

The cover just fits the hole.

Would it whistle less if I buy a larger cover?

The hole originally had large pieces of foam stuck in it which I removed. The hole is 8" x 14". Thanks so much."

Here's the noise maker. What do you think is the answer? Photo credit: Kathy Burke

Here's the noise maker. What do you think is the answer? Photo credit: Kathy Burke

Here's my solution to the problem:

Kathy, the vent is now making noise because the opening is being restricted too much by the vent cover.

You're on the right track to the solution!

You need to make the opening bigger to stop the noise.

I'm sure the return air is between two wall studs, so to make this easy you need to enlarge the hole by going up.

Your challenge is going to be locating a vent cover that is twice as tall but the same width.

Report back after you complete the job.

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2 Responses to Vent Makes Noise

  1. Had the same problem in an older home that had been converted to modern heat by the homeowner. My solution was to use two grills, one atop the other. Didn't look bad and provided adequate return air voluny, quietly.

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