Whisper Quiet: High Velocity Air Conditioning Noise


Are High Velocity Air Conditioning Systems Noisy?

The answer to this question is: No. In fact, high velocity heating air conditioning systems are built to be whisper quiet. Noise from a high velocity air conditioner typically occurs when a system is improperly installed.

When looking for the best AC system to efficiently cool their homes, homeowners often consider a small duct high velocity, (SDHV) air conditioning system as the quieter alternative to both split systems and traditional ducted systems. Since 1985, more than 500,000 homeowners selected The Unico System because of the quiet, efficient cooling it delivers to every room of their home. With more than hundreds of thousands of installations across the United States, our network of Unico Preferred Contractors ensures proper installation of systems and can fix system noise problems.

Quiet Duct Work

SDHV air conditioners systems, use slim, flexible supply tubing rather than large ductwork like traditional HVAC units, making them perfect for older homes or custom homes.

Unlike traditional ductwork, the special sound-absorbing insulation is wrapped around the flexible supply tubing of The Unico System. The special sound-absorbing insulation (sometimes called sound attenuators or duct silencers) and porous inner lining create a thick, padded barrier that prevents sound from escaping and groaning in your walls when the system cools the air. The design also has naturally built-in shock absorption that prevents the high velocity air from causing vibrations.

Traditional ducted AC systems are ridged and bulky. Air pushed through large duct stresses them and causes them to vibrate. That’s the hum you hear throughout a house with a traditional AC system.

Silent Under Pressure

High velocity ductwork, on the other hand, withstands high pressure. The tubing is made with nylon, which is then wrapped with insulation, and finally wrapped with an outer vapor barrier to reduce thermal loss. This creates multiple layers of padding, adding to the sound absorption and reducing noise.

For particularly large rooms, Unico Preferred Contractors typically include 12 feet of sound attenuator for each air supply tube. For smaller spaces, contractors can select sound attenuator in 3-foot sections and inserted wherever additional sound absorption is desired.

No Choke Points, No Noise

To ensure quiet performance, ducts and outlets need to be able to operate efficiently. The small, flexible ductwork of a SDHV system fits into walls, closets, and ceilings but airflow does need sufficient space to exit the ducts. When ducts are installed without any choke points, air flows evenly throughout a home, which reduces noise. Our Unico Preferred Contractors are trained to provide a generous radius in the sound attenuating tubing at the outlet. The greater the radius near the outlet, the quieter the run will be.

Even Flow, Even Sound

Homeowners with high velocity also hear a difference in their homes because of outlet size. Traditional large-ducted systems require vents 5 inches wide and up to 30 inches long, from which air is dumped into the room without circulating. But a small duct, high velocity system only needs round outlets that are 2-2 ½ inches in diameter. With a few of these small outlets in a room, air can flow evenly. Then instead of dumping air like a traditional large-ducted system, the high velocity system gently releases cooled air noiselessly.

When noise does occur with a SDHV system, a common problem is something obstructing the air flow either inside or outside the outlet. Like the air flow of any central air system, high velocity air conditioning needs unobstructed outlets to operate properly. This will also help the overall comfort of the system as it will allow the air to better circulate, creating more even temperatures.

Advantages of Tuning the System

A Small Duct High Velocity System from Unico also has another advantage. Through the use of EC motor / blower technology the Unico System can have its airflow “tuned” or optimized for efficiency and sound levels desired by the home or business owner.

Want to learn about installing a whisper quiet high velocity system? Sign up for a free training course to learn strategies for noise reduction and become a Unico Preferred Contractor.

Interested in high velocity air conditioning in your home? Find a Unico Preferred Contractor near you for a free quote and to learn more about AC noise reduction.

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