Does HVAC in a Bedroom Closet Make Noise?

Does HVAC in a Bedroom Closet Make Noise? thumbnail
Air handlers are usually less noisy than condensers, which are installed outside.

Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems may feature an exterior boxlike machine called a condenser and a separate interior unit called an air handler. The air handler delivers cool air throughout the house in summer and warm air in the winter. Air handlers can fit in small spaces, including a bedroom closet. However, a bedroom placement isn’t ideal because all handlers make noise. Although some are quieter than others, it is impossible for an air handler to be completely quiet.

  1. Background Noise

    • Air handlers make constant noise while circulating air. Efficient air handlers take pressure off the outdoor unit and are a critical part of your HVAC system. Contractors generally try to install them in spaces outside the living area, such as attics, crawl spaces and basements. When that isn’t possible, closets become an option. An air handler in a utility closet near the kitchen may become relatively unnoticeable after people in the house become accustomed to its operation. Noise from an air handler in a bedroom is more noticeable because of the smaller area.


    • Manufacturers usually do not offer decibel level information about air handlers that are suitable for bedroom closets. The systems usually make about as much noise as a self-contained air conditioning unit designed for window installation.


    • People with air handlers in bedrooms will hear the unit as it turns on and off and while it distributes air. Some models feature variable-speed technology, with noise levels increasing or decreasing as the air handler adjusts to meet demand. One benefit of variable-speed technology is that the air handler will work at the lowest possible speed to maintain temperature settings.


    • Installing the air handler in a bedroom closet should be a last resort. Even if the bedroom is unoccupied by your family, installing the air handler in the closet could affect the resale value of the home.


    • Have your HVAC system installed by a reputable technician. In most areas, technicians must pass a state test and receive a license before performing most HVAC-related functions. An experienced technician can describe the pros and cons of placing the air handler in the bedroom while making other suggestions. It may be wiser to spend more money on the installation, if necessary, to place the air handler in a more remote location.

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