The first thing we recommend is to be sure that you have the correct size furnace filter in your system. The better the fit the quieter your system should be, when a system turns on and air starts moving through the filter it will shift if you are using a size that doesn't fit well. The noise from the filter shifting will carry through your ducting and can sometimes sound like a loud bang. A incorrect size can also allow air to travel around the filter if there are gaps. Air will always follow the path of of the least resistance so if there are gaps that is where it's going first. In some instances this can create a whistling sound that will travel through your ducting increasing the operating noise in your home.
Another option is to use a less efficient filter, or what we call a lower MERV rating. These filters do not restrict as much air as the higher MERV rated filters so the air will flow through quicker and quieter. But keep in mind that the lower the MERV rating the less the furnace filter will capture from the air. A good option is a filter with a MERV 8 rating as you get the best of both worlds. A MERV 8 furnace filter has a low airflow resistance while it still does a great job at capturing particles from your indoor air.
Remember the more you change your furnace filter the quieter your system will run since it will essentially breathe easier, this will cut down on noise but also prolong the life of your system. Changing your furnace filter regularly will save you in the long run...and possibly get you a better night sleep during the cold months.
These are a few things to help make your night a bit more peaceful and quiet. If you have any questions please contact our indoor air quality specialists and we would be happy to answer any questions you may have.