Quiet Furnaces | Tips for Buying a Gas Furnace thats Not Noisy!

Not much can let you down more than installing a new gas furnace and finding out you have a furnace blower that’s so noisy, it sounds like a train in your closet! Surely, when you were going over the gas furnace features, you didn’t tell the salesman you wanted the loudest and noisy gas furnace installed, so what went wrong? You’re old furnace, even though it no longer worked, was much quieter than this!

In this Gas Furnace Guide, we delve into what makes furnaces so loud, and how you can make sure you get one of the quietest gas furnaces when you have to replace the old one!

Tips for Buying a Quiet Gas Furnace

There are 4 main components related to the furnace that are going to generate much of the noises a furnace makes.

Furnace Efficiency Rating Effect on Noise

Today’s 80% AFUE Gas furnaces primarily use an “In-Shot” or a “Venturi” style burner, versus the older styles that simply heated up the ribbon of the heat exchanger. Picture a jet engine… when the pilot hits the afterburner. The result is that it sounds like a blow-torch when the furnace is running, and thus is much noisier than older models.

90% AFUE or higher furnaces use a sealed combustion chamber, so you rarely even hear the burners when the furnace is running!

  • 80% AFUE Furnaces are Noisy, due to in-shot or venturi style burners.
  • 90% AFUE or Higher are Quieter due to sealed combustion.

Single or Multi Stage Burners

It’s no secret that having a 2-stage furnace is going to result in a quieter running unit when its on a lower flame setting. The first, lower stage, of the furnace is like having a low-flame on your gas grill or stove turned on. Nice and quiet. The second (or third) stages of the gas valve open when higher levels of heat are needed, but they also result in a noisier furnace due to the added combustion and higher flame.

  • Single Stage Gas Valves are Louder
  • Two-Stage or Multi-Stage Furnaces are Quieter.

Fixed Capacity or Variable Speed Blowers

All you need to think of in this case is the blower in your car, or even the noise a hair blow dryer makes when its in different speed positions. Fixed capacity blowers are designed to blow at a set flow rate (measured in CFM) and they are On, or Off.

Turn the fan blower in your car 0onto the lowest setting, it’s almost like a whisper of air coming out of the vents. The minute you turn it to full-speed, or the highest setting, the blower gets much louder. The same holds true for a gas furnace blower.

  • Fixed Capacity Blowers are Louder
  • Variable, or Multi-Speed Blowers are Quieter when Running on Lower Settings (60-80% of the time)

Duct System Design and Efficiency

The final and likely biggest impact on the noise from your furnace is the duct system! If you have a furnace that’s moving 2000 cfm of air through a duct system that was designed to move 1400cfm, each vent is going to whistle, or sound like a leaf blower!

  • Make Sure you Ask Your Contractor About the Duct in your Home, and if its designed to move the airflow the furnace is pushing!

Three of the Quietest Gas Furnaces You Can Buy

Since many folks come here looking for the gas furnace noise ratings, we though it would be helpful to publish 3 of the quietest gas furnaces we know of!

Do you think you have the quietest furnace? Share the brand and model…

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Comments

5 Responses to “Quiet Furnaces | Tips for Buying a Gas Furnace thats Not Noisy!”
  1. Nancy says:

    Bought a new Rheem Classic Series Super Quiet 80 gas furnace in Feb. 2012. Is supposed to be for a closet, however, it’s located in my dining/living room area and the noise is unbearable. Sounds like a jet engine starting up. Would not suggest it to anyone unless perhaps in a basement area. Also, the blower noise is very loud and annoying. Perhaps you need to pick a less noisey furnace.

  2. maggie rose says:

    To Nancy:
    We have an Amana High Efficiency furnace, as of Feb.2012, and it is so noisy the t.v. and radio cannot be heard. It is louder than an old train racing to make up for lost time, and louder than a tornado. The blast of air blows the floor air vents right out of the floor, the drapes go flying, and the toilet paper flaps around so you can’t catch it. The servicemen said that was normal. ??? One person tamed it a bit, but it is still so annoying that we are on edge, and have to leave the house.
    How could companies put in such monstrosities and have a clear conscience?

  3. dorthypacker says:

    I love this post! It so funny because it’s so true! My furnace is the noisiest thing in the whole world. It sounds like a monster is living in there. It’s definitely time for a new one. These are great tips and I appreciate your help. I have heard a lot about a goodman gas furnace and I can’t decide if I should get one that kind. Do you know anything about them? I would trust your advice.

    • Mark says:

      Goodman makes good products Dorthy, however, they are known to be slightly louder than higher cost furnaces. The cost is kept lower due to a reduction in the components (aka insulated sideboards) in the furnace cabinet.

      A good installer however may be able to insulate the cabinet with ductboard or some other heavy style of insulated board. If its in a closet, basement, or outside mechanical room… noise may not matter.

      Mark

  4. Di says:

    Wish the blowing noise from our Rheem Classic 90 could sound deep and comforting like furnaces use to sound, rather than high pitched and factory sounding. I’d definetly buy an old style,less efficient furnace if they were available still! Would love everybody to have the home sweet comfort of home back again! Wonder if it is possible to manufacture these new furnaces with the old sound?

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