As part of its 2013 Winter Conference, ASHRAE will offer a free session, “Basics of HVAC Noise Control,” at the International Air-Conditioning, Heating, Refrigerating Exposition (AHR Expo) Tuesday, Jan. 29, from 2 to 3:30 p.m. in Room C147 of the Dallas Convention Center.

ASHRAE Conference registration is not required to attend, and no badge is needed.

“Designing HVAC systems with good acoustic performance can be a challenge,” Erik Miller-Klein, PE, technician for SSA Acoustics LLP in Seattle, one of the session's three presenters, said. “This session addresses three common issues to improve acumen for sound and vibration, including the idiosyncrasies of selecting fans that optimize acoustic and energy performance for improved system design and the physics of sound that explains the performance and limitations of silencers and acoustic louvers.”

The session will include audio examples.

The presentations and speakers are:

"Fan Selection Impact on Noise" by Mark E. Schaffer, PE, Schaffer Acoustics Inc., Pacific Palisades, Calif. The noise produced by a fan depends on not only its duty point, but its type and size. For a given duty point, a fan that is the wrong type and/or wrong size can be as much as 30-dB louder than the optimum selection. This presentation will show examples of quiet and noisy fan selections and offer simple guidelines for selecting fans to minimize excessive fan noise.

"Understanding the Physics of Silencers" by Dan LaForgia, Industrial Acoustics Co., Bronx, N.Y. HVAC silencers or sound attenuators are used on many types of HVAC equipment. Silencer manufacturers have various models designed to meet specific dynamic-insertion-loss and static-pressure-drop requirements. A properly selected silencer can reduce noise levels significantly across the entire frequency spectrum. However, if a silencer is improperly selected, issues in acoustic performance, pressure drop, and self-noise may arise. The silencer itself may even become a noise source. This presentation will explain silencer definitions, testing procedures, and how to properly select silencers to ensure maximum performance without the HVAC system being disrupted.

"What Does That Sound Like and Mean? (Ear Training)" by Miller-Klein. Understanding how noise can be an annoyance and what the goal criteria sounds like gives a designer and contractor the tools to be successful on the acoustic front. This presentation will cover successful projects and common issues and how to troubleshoot problems.