Mysterious Noise in House
LESLIE: Alright. Now we’ve Diane in Massachusetts on the line with a noise question. What’s going on at your money pit?
DIANE: I sided my house 12 years ago and I had blown-in insulation put in 3 years ago. And the house is noisy. I can hear a humming. It’s annoying. It’s a buzzing. I don’t know why, after doing all of this surrounding the house and trying to keep it warm, I would hear a humming, a resonance in the house.
TOM: Well, I’ll tell you what: there’s got to be a reason for this and it’s going to take some real detective work to figure it out. I’ll give you an example from my own home. You know, I recently put in spray-foam insulation and sealed up my attic and it’s never been warmer in the house as a result of it. But in one part of the house, it still was technically a conditioned attic. So by code, we were required to leave some vents in that attic. Now, it ended up that it was so tight in that attic space, even with the vent, that whenever the wind blew, we’d get this really weird, almost like haunting sound.
You know when you were a kid and you would – took an old bottle and you blew across the top of it and it made a big, deep sound with it?
TOM: Like a big jug? Well, that’s what it sounds like when the air blows across this vent. And it makes a really weird sort of vibrating sound in that part of the house. Until I figured it out, I was really scratching my head. So there’s always a reason for this. In our case, it was a vent. In your case, it could be plumbing. Very often, we get noises in homes that are sourced from plumbing. Sometimes when you run hot or cold water, pipes will expand or contract and cause sort of like a creaking sound that will vibrate through the entire length of the pipe and amplify itself, as a result. It could be electrical. If there’s outlets or panel boxes in those parts of the house, they definitely should be inspected to make sure that nothing is disintegrating inside that electrical area.
There’s nothing about adding blown-in insulation that will cause a noise, so the source must be somewhere else that you’re going to have to dig into a bit more, Diane, before you’ll know what to do about it. But I would trust your instincts. If you’re hearing it, it definitely exists. Sometimes, people think they’re going nuts. But I’ve got to tell you, there’s a reason for that but it’s definitely going to take some detective work to get to the bottom of it.
DIANE: OK. You coming over?
TOM: Alright. Well, you put on the coffee and next time I’m up in Massachusetts, we’ll stop by.