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Old 02-17-2009, 01:12 PM   #1
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Loud air return grille - suggestions?


Hello,

I live in a small condo (550 sq. ft) with a forced air heating/cooling system. There is just one air return, located high up on the wall in my living room (see photo).

When the fan comes on, the sound of air rushing into the return vent is quite noisy and it's necessary to crank up the volume on the television. Until now I have just accepted the noise and inconvenience, but on a hunch I unscrewed the return grille and discovered that the return is practically silent with the grille removed. (More photos included)

Since leaving the grille off all the time is not a viable option, are there any particular kinds of air return grilles that would produce less noise? Are plastic grilles quieter than metal? Are there models with wider gaps between fins? Is there a maximum "safe" size for air openings (e.g. to prevent sucking in large debris) or is it a completely cosmetic determination?

The current grille is a metal one measuring 32" by 10". The fins seem to be in good shape, although the grille itself is old and has been painted multiple times. I should also point out that there is no air filter at the return itself (only in the fan coil unit located in another room). I would be grateful for any recommendations, as well as where I might look to purchase a replacement grille.

Many thanks.
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Old 02-17-2009, 02:33 PM   #2
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Loud air return grille - suggestions?


i was ready to make some suggestion until you asked where to buy a filter.

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Old 02-17-2009, 02:39 PM   #3
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Loud air return grille - suggestions?


Quote:
Originally Posted by hvaclover View Post
i was ready to make some suggestion until you asked where to buy a filter.
I know where to buy an air filter, obviously. I asked about grilles -- the metal vent that covers the return duct:
Quote:
Originally Posted by chrisd
...there is no air filter at the return itself (only in the fan coil unit located in another room). I would be grateful for any recommendations, as well as where I might look to purchase a replacement grille.
Please excuse me if I'm not using the appropriate terminology.
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:03 PM   #4
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Loud air return grille - suggestions?


Quote:
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I know where to buy an air filter, obviously. I asked about grilles -- the metal vent that covers the return duct:

Please excuse me if I'm not using the appropriate terminology.
Ok for get that part.

Describe you hating system to me. Is there a furnace behind that door under the grill?
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Old 02-17-2009, 03:09 PM   #5
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Ok for get that part.

Describe you hating system to me. Is there a furnace behind that door under the grill?
The door you see goes to a coat closet, and the air handler is actually in another closet behind that one. The return duct bends downward and runs to floor level, then bends again to run parallel to the floor and into the fan coil unit. So the noise I'm hearing does not seem to be the fan blower itself, since the fan coil is pretty far away from the return opening and since there isn't much noise when I remove the grille completely.
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:14 PM   #6
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Loud air return grille - suggestions?


So the noise I'm hearing does not seem to be the fan blower itself, since the fan coil is pretty far away from the return opening and since there isn't much noise when I remove the grille completely.

Get a new grill same size with more free area...double if possible.

You will have to check for a local hvac supplier who will be able to sell you what you need.
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Old 02-17-2009, 04:25 PM   #7
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Loud air return grille - suggestions?


Call this number. Hart and Cooley. They can help choose a return grill for you.

1-888-242-7725

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