Dryer Duct Noise

Dear Friends at InterNACHI,

I seek your acoustic wizardry.

An apartment building was just built next door to my condo and its dryer ducts on the external walls emit a high pitched whistling drone lasting upwards of an hour throughout the day and night. Each unit (there are 24) has its own washing machine and dryer and anytime someone uses their dryer, we hear this noise—it is louder or softer depending on where in the 24 unit complex the dryer is. Needless to say, it is profoundly disturbing both physically and mentally.

Do you have any suggestions for how they can reduce the noise? Building & Safety came out (we live in Los Angeles, CA) and the noise isn’t at least 5 decibels above the ambient noise so they don’t consider this a code violation. Therefore, we are relying on the good neighborship of the owner.

We would be ever so grateful for any wisdom you may have that we could share with the owner to help him fix the noise problem.

With kindest regards,


Sounds like a obstruction or a opening has anyone checked the pipe psychically

With multi family dwellings, there is a booster fan installed inline of the duct. You suggest 24 units so the fan may be a variable speed that accelerates as each additional Dryer is operated.

  • Check with the management company to verify the installation of a Fan
  • Booster fans need to be periodically cleaned as lint loading will cause vibration and noise.

I’d kindly request that the condo association or owner hire an appliance tech to examine the vent install, booster fans and dryers to make the needed corrections. High pitched whines can be an indication of a defect or obstruction in the vent installation. You probably should have addressed this with the owner first before calling the authority with their sound meters.