What is that popping noise?

Any sort of "bump" in the middle of the night is cause for concern, especially if that popping, banging or creaking noise is coming from your home. The good news is that in most cases, these types of sounds are just your home's reaction to temperature changes (or a good gust of wind), however, it's always good to ask a professional if you're truly concerned. Here are a few reasons your home may be making noises.

1. Sheet-Metal Ductwork Racket

If your home is making a loud banging noise, chances are that the sheet-metal ductwork in your house is to blame. Sheet-metal ducting is infamously noisy. In fact, when your furnace turns on and hot air rushes through a cold duct, the cool metal reacts by expanding; thus causing a loud bang!

Can you eliminate or reduce the sound? 

If your ductwork is easily-accessible, you can cover it with insulation or place rubber pads where the ducts make contact with wood framing or pipes. However, if the ducts are difficult to get to, the solution to the problem is a little limited Call CHOICE Heating & Air Conditioning and ask whether fitting the existing ducts with acoustical duct liners is feasible on your home. Alternatively, we can discuss if adding flexible duct transitions in the main trunk lines will reduce the noise.

2. Overhead Banging

If you live in a newer home, chances are that the wood used to frame your attic or roof trusses is green. This means that the wood still has a high moisture content, and as it dries, it can shift and contract triggering a BANG loud enough to make you think a tree fell on your new roof. Luckily, these noises typically decrease over the course of the first year (or so).

However, if you live in an older home, those unsettling bangs are much more likely to be the sounds of trusses, joists, rafters, and sheathing expanding and contracting as the roof heats up or cools down.  Furthermore, metal and even shingled roofs can be incredibly noisy.

Can you eliminate or reduce the sound? 

While you may not be able to fully eliminate the banging noise, installing venting in an unventilated attic may help. The addition of fresh airflow will allow the interior of the attic to cool at the same time the outside temperature drops, which will decrease abrupt wood movement (banging).

You can also add insulation in your attic to diminish the echo effect, created by a large open attic. While the banging may still be heard since sound travels through solids and can reverberate throughout your home's framing, insulation may reduce the noise.

3. Popping Pipes

There are a couple of reasons why your pipes may be popping. For one, hot water flowing through cold copper lines results in expansion popping that is completely normal. However, if your pipes shudder or clank after turning off a faucet, it could be a case of water hammer, that is triggered by high water pressure surging through the pipes when a valve closes quickly. The pipes react by clanking against wood framing or against other pipes.

Can you eliminate or reduce the sound?

If you can reach the pipes, cover them in foam tubing. This can make a big difference and reduce the clanking noise. If that doesn't work, your plumber can also install water hammer absorbers on water-supply lines to help maintain steady water pressure.

4. Creaks and Squeaks

Whether you live in a new or an older home, we all know the sound of a creaky floor. When wood rubs against the wood, it can make a surprisingly loud response. Loose steps will obviously creak, but so will any spot in your home where wood makes contact with wood as you cross the floor.

Can you eliminate or reduce the sound? 

If a loose wood plank is to blame, drill a starter hole in the plank and insert a finish nail to secure the plank tightly to the subfloor. Then fill the nail hole with wood putty that matches the wood. That should quickly solve the problem!

Call CHOICE Heating & Air Conditioning today to schedule a maintenance check. Preparing your HVAC system for fall can save you time, money and peace of mind all season long. Don't wait until your heat doesn't work later this year, make your appointment today!


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