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Any HVAC professionals?


PoisonJam
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A bit of a long shot on this forum, I realize, but are there any HVAC guys here? I have a two-zone heating system in my house and when only the main zone is active (which is most of the time), there is a whistling in the ducts that approaches steam-whistle levels, and it's driving me mad. It actually wakes me up in the morning when it kicks on, and it keeps my kids awake when they are trying to nap. It practically drowns out conversation on the main level, and it's embarrassing to have people over in the winter as a result.

 

I have called a few companies to try to get someone out to look at it but so far all I have gotten is "I will call you back in five minutes" and then the phone never rings. Maybe it's a tough problem to diagnose, I don't know, but I can't take it anymore.

 

Any thoughts? It's a relatively new system (installed within the last five years), and the ducts to the main living area are new, while the ones that connect to the second zone (which is an in-law setup over my garage) are the original ducts (they don't whistle).

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I'm far from a pro here Dave but I do work with several types of HVAC systems at work. A little bit of online research and talking to one of the guys here at work (who has done extensive HVAC work) confirmed this is more than likely your issue (the below is using a two zone system similiar to yours):

 

The whistling sound is probably caused by an over pressurization of the ducts in the zone calling for heating. A two-zone system like yours usually has a barometric bypass damper installed to prevent this from happening and to keep the system from trying to operate in too high static pressure. A barometric damper is just a fancy name for a weighted damper that installs in a bypass duct between the supply and return ducts. The weight is adjusted so that the damper will open and allow some air to bypass when the pressure gets too high in your supply duct.

 

If you have one of these dampers, you should get it adjusted to the proper bypass setting, if not, you should have one added.

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Thanks, Romier; I found that note during my searches as well and I am hoping it is just that simple. I just wish I could get somebody in to take a look at my system and confirm whether or not such a damper would help! These guys get $150 just for walking in the door...I don't know why it is proving so difficult to find someone willing to take my money and just look at my system. :bh

 

Then again, it's just starting to get really cold around here so I imagine a lot of HVAC guys are pretty busy just now.

 

Anyway, I really appreciate you poking around on my behalf, Romier.

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I just wish I could get somebody in to take a look at my system and confirm whether or not such a damper would help!

Just to reiterate, I'm not just going off of my own research. There's a gentleman I work with who's very familiar with HVAC installs that advised that this is almost certainly the issue.

 

That having been said, it may depend on how you're presenting your problem. Armed with the info you have, the next time you call them tell them exactly what you think the problem is and that you simply need someone out to adjust the damper if its installed or install one if it's not and they may be more receptive. From what I understand this also shouldn't be a terribly time consuming job so it may be that they aren't exactly making much money off of you and therefore put more financially viable jobs ahead of your issue. sucks either way really....

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Great point, Romier. Next guy I call I will just tell him what specifically I want done, and when he asks why I will mention the whistling I am trying to stop.

 

Now that you mention it, it's a bit like the difference between some family member asking me "Can you install and run some anti-spyware utilities for me?" (okay, no problem), and "My computer is running slow, can you help?" (CRAP!!!!)

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