HVAC Cleaning floor vent

Published on May 6th, 2018 | by Henri


New furnace causes whistling noise and dust

Q.  My husband and I recently had a high-efficiency furnace installed in our home and are having issues with the cold-air return system. First was a loud whistling, which we solved somewhat by removing the grates to allow greater air flow. But so far we haven’t found any replacement grates that will allow more air to enter than the old ones. Any thoughts where we could buy some?

The second, more-important issue is the amount of dust being pulled through the system to the furnace filter, probably because the volume of air being returned is larger and faster moving. We have an electronic air filtering system that was getting clogged frequently, so for the time being we have turned it off and installed a large paper filter. After three weeks, we need to replace that filter. This could get expensive over the winter.

When we removed the cold-air vent covers, we could see a thick lining of dust along the ducts. The air return system consists mainly of rigid metal with some flexible plastic tubing in the attic. Would duct cleaning be called for? I have heard that it can be a waste of money and can cause more problems than it solves. If you think it would be helpful, are there any specific methods of duct cleaning you would recommend? Knowing that would help us narrow down contractors. If you don’t think cleaning by a contractor is a good idea, is there anything we can do to reduce the amount of dust reaching the furnace filter? Thank you for any help you can provide.

A.  There are decorative grilles that have larger openings, which should eliminate the whistling. Look up the selection of grilles at: www.signaturehardware.com and click on Hardware, click on Registers and scroll down until you reach wall registers. There are several registers with wider openings than the ones you removed may have had.

But you may want to ask your HVAC contractor if he or she would recommend reducing the speed of the fan as a solution.

Too bad you are not still using your electronic filter. The fact that it clogged frequently is telling you that it is very effective. It simply means more frequent cleaning.

It sounds as if a duct cleaning is in order; be sure to select an experienced firm by asking for references. Ask for the names of several customers who had work done in the last six months, and call them.

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