Tips For Dealing With HVAC Noise Complaints

As a property manager, every morning brings with it an entirely new set of issues. Some days can be all about routine maintenance while the next day can seem like you’re handling nothing but problems. The two work hand in hand. If things are maintained on a regular basis, the chances of it escalating into an emergency situation reduce considerably.

Yet even with the best of intentions, sometimes things go wrong. Those are the days when you pick up the phone and hear nothing but tenant complaints on the other end.
Tenants can complain for a variety of reasons, but the one thing that sets them off like none other is a noise. Whether its that tiny high pitched noise that just won’t go away, or a constant rumble that blocks out even the loudest of conversations, if the HVAC equipment is the source of the problem, you will hear about it sooner rather than later.
When HVAC equipment begins to make noise, it can be for a variety of reasons. But the sooner you handle the situation, the more you can avoid those future complaints. And if you fix it quickly, you may be able to get to the root of the problem and fix a small problem, rather than letting it snowball into a major and costly repair down the road.
Find The Source
The first place to start is pinpointing where the noise is coming from. Follow the sound and you’ll have a better chance at narrowing down the causes.
If, for example, the noise complaint is coming from an office directly under a rooftop unit, it could be something as simple as a vibration issue. The HVAC equipment could have settled, giving the equipment the space to move and shake.
If the noise is more of a whistling sound, it could be issues with the damper. With a variable air volume (VAV) HVAC system, the damper opens to allow air to flow in until the correct temperature is achieved. Once that occurs, the damper closes to stop the airflow. If the damper doesn’t close all the way, it can allow a tiny air flow to move in and out, which can cause a whistling sound depending on the flow.
Or of course, it could be a sign of normal wear and tear. The older your HVAC equipment is, the more wear it will have to all parts of the system. The HVAC equipment may be functioning properly, but if the computer tells the damper to close, for instance,  but the gears are chipped or broken, the process will never be completed.
Fix The Problem
Once the problem is found, a solution can be identified and carried out. Keep in mind that every issue has its own solution; there is rarely a one-size-fits-all strategy that will work for every system.
Roof top unit
It may be as simple as replacing a small part. It may be more complex and require multiple strategies throughout the system. Yet in many cases we’ve found the best way to find the perfect fix is to understand the system thoroughly and monitor it all the time.
When property managers invest in an HVAC preventive maintenance program, the equipment is monitored by a trained technician on a routine basis. Instead of being called out on emergency situations only, they monitor it regularly. They hear the small squeaks early on and discover its source immediately. They watch the way equipment operates, noticing when things are off-kilter. They hear things even your tenants might not, and fix them long before you become aware of the problem.


To learn more about how to effectively deal with HVAC noise complaints, please contact us today.

Recent Blog Posts