Circulating fans can offer savings for homeowners and businesses alike. Ceiling fans, floor fans, wall-mounted fans, and portable fans can make rooms feel cooler without the high costs associated with central air conditioning. If needed, they can also be used in conjunction with A/C to keep energy costs down. Though fans are a simple and cost-effective solution to the heat, they can sometimes be distracting. A noisy fan can cause discomfort and stress for home occupants and employees who enjoy quiet surroundings or require careful concentration.
Older fan models tend to be noisier than their more current counterparts and should be replaced. Newer circulation fans are designed with both safety and comfort (in terms of both temperature and sound) in mind.
The precise measurement of the noise put out by a fan is known as the sone rating. A sone is a measurement of sound or, more specifically, the subjective perception of sound pressure. In fans, the lower the sone level, the more comfortable the noise level will be for most people. One sone is the equivalent to the noise made by a household refrigerator. A sone rating of 1.5 indicates a quiet fan. Anything below that is optimal.
Installation can make a difference when it comes to fan noise. A fan that isn’t installed properly or has loose fittings can rattle and vibrate. Lack of lubrication can also cause fan noise. Some fans can be adjusted, but only do so according to manufacturer’s instructions. Exhaust fans (such as intermittent bathroom or kitchen fans) can be noisy for the same reasons or due to faulty ductwork. Updated ductwork or installation of inline exhaust can help with exhaust fan noise.
If a fan is extremely noisy and there seems to be no apparent cause, it may be time for an updated model. Newer fans have extremely low sone levels and are worth the investment when it comes to comfort.