How to Reduce Noise From Floor Heat Vents


Noise from heat vents can range from minor creaks to annoying (and potentially sleep-disrupting) pops, bangs and whistling sounds. A serious noise problem can require the help of an HVAC technician, but there are do-it-yourself steps you can take first to alleviate the problem.

Things You'll Need

  • Screwdriver (Phillips or flat head)
  • Rubber padding
  • Fiberglass or acoustic insulation (optional)
  • Trim rubber padding to fit and insert it behind the vent (where the vent meets the wall) to prevent air leakage that could result in whistling. Be sure the padding is placed between the vent and the wall, but does not block the airflow passageway. Rubber padding should be approximately 1/4-inch thick. It's available in sheets, both with and without adhesive backing.

  • Tighten the screws that secure the heat vent to the wall to eliminate or reduce rattling.

  • Determine whether the noise is coming from the vent unit itself, or is traveling from a source farther down the duct. Popping noises can occur when metal ducts expand and contract. If you're hearing popping you're likely dealing with an issue stemming from the duct itself and not the vent.

  • Wrap ducts (the ones you can reach without opening a wall) in fiberglass insulation. This may reduce expansion and contraction and cut down on some of the popping noises that travel up the ducts to your vent.

  • Maintain the health of your HVAC system by having it serviced annually. Regular cleaning and maintenance of your HVAC system and fan can help to reduce noise. Ask your HVAC technician to check for gaps or loose components and to check that your system's fan is operating quietly and efficiently.

Tips & Warnings

  • If your heat vents are old and damaged or do not fit properly against the wall, it may be time to invest in new vents.
  • Do-it-yourself fixes may reduce minor noise problems caused by rattling vents or expanding and contracting ducts, but significant noise problems that arise within the HVAC system itself will probably require professional intervention.

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  • Photo Credit air conditioner vent image by Tammy Mobley from
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