How to Quiet a Noisy Air Return?

Is your air return making awkward noises? Are you being disturbed by the noise and you don’t know the reason? Well, if that is the case then this is the suitable content for you. You will have to check the air return to find out the source of the problem.

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You can do this at home and you don’t require any technical education to do so. All you need to know is the basic components of the air return like heat ducts, vents, blower motor, etc. It is important to check each and every part of the device so you can figure out the root cause.

Starting from the easiest part of the problem you have to gradually get into the depth until you find out the issue. So let’s start with the easiest available option and gradually move ahead so it is easier to understand for everyone how to quiet a noisy air return?

Adjusting Vent Covers

air return cover

The HVAC system works on a basic idea and that is the balance between the air it is pushing and the air that is returning. If the balance is interrupted then the system overloads making an awful noise.

The openings in the floor and the walls have to be according to the size of the device. The vent cover has to be sufficient to provide proper air return. You have to check the vent covers to know whether enough air is coming in or not.

You can easily find out the return air required according to the air conditioning capacity of your machine. If the conditioning system is linked to the heating system you need to have bigger air vents and they also need to be regularly checked.

The capacity of the vent is of premium value in this case and here are some of the tips to minimize the noise of the air vents:-

  1. Keep the fins straightso that there is more space for airflow. The air turbulence will be reduced and as a result, the vibration of the find will also be minimized. This would definitely cut the noise down a bit.
  2. The air vents have to be screwed properly to proper support so that the air is pulled properly instead of through the open spaces around the corners and making noise. You can put a weatherstrip if tightening the screws isn’t working for you.
  3. Clean the vents regularlyso they can perform at their finest as the dirt can decrease the performance after a while.
  4. The vents with adjustable openings have to be open as the blocked vents can create a serious problem. The blocked vents would be pulling in more air than required and the noise will increase.
  5. The vent covers have to be efficient and they don’t need to be so massive in size that they hinder the airflow.
  6. Seal the wall if you can to minimize the noise.

Replacing Filters

You would have often seen filters filled with heaps of dust and dirt and they can be a real problem in any situation. You have to make sure that the filters are clean because otherwise, the other parts of the device will have to work more resulting in overheating. You need to change the filters at regular intervals and the suggested time period would be three to four months.

The filters are available in different sizes and shapes. You can choose the one that goes well with your machine and now there are IoT filters also available that can be controlled with the help of a smartphone. You can monitor the performance and find out the issue beforehand.

Keeping the Ductwork in Check

air return duct

You can lessen the noise of the air ducts by cutting down the vibrations. You can wrap the air ducts with foiled fiberglass and eliminate the noise.

Although it won’t decrease the flanking noise but still the vibrational noise can be overcome with this tactic.

Choosing the Ducts Manufacturer

If you are thinking about replacing the ducts, perform the necessary research before buying anything. There are hundreds of different brands and most of them market their products to be “noise-free” but you have to go through the reviews of the previous customers.

It is better to choose a company that has spent a bit of time in the market and has reasonably good reviews. Choosing a new company could be a risk sometimes so it is better to avoid such a choice when there are better options available in the market.

Controlling Static Pressure

ceiling return air vent

The ducts that cannot handle the air intake’s pressure can cause static pressure. It could be one of the main causes of the noise and you need to start with inspecting the ducts properly. You should replace all the vents with high velocity in order to provide better air movement.

You can add return air ducting and you have to be sure that your device can handle it. Adjusting the speed of the fan can help or you can get a speed blower. In this way, you would be able to slow down the fan speed whenever you want and it would definitely minimize the noise.


Overall, there are just the tips that you can implement at home if there is no outside help available. It would be better to take professional help if all of these suggestions don’t work. Normally, the noise is caused by one of the factors mentioned above and you can easily resolve them on your own.

You should only spend money on professional help if the problem persists and it is out of your control. By trying these tricks you would be able to know more about the working system of the device that can be helpful for you in the future as well.

It would also save valuable money that you can spend on any other necessary purchase. We would love to know about your reaction if you have any homemade tricks under your sleeve so we can add them in the next piece for helping the other visitors.

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