Vacaville is an easy town to spot: it’s about halfway between Sacramento and San Francisco, with a brightly colored playground for kids at the Nut Tree Plaza. I know plenty of people in Northern California, like Vacaville folks, who live in a small, quiet community, then commute into one of those bigger cities during the work week. Their favorite thing about living outside a metropolis is how much quieter it is. In fact, did you know Vacaville is home to a special retreat spot where people go to enjoy silence? It’s called Silent Stay, but I don’t know if I’m supposed to be talking about it—at least not loudly, anyway. It’d be a shame for all that quiet to be lost when you get inside your own home, but I get calls all the time about noisy appliances disrupting a family’s peace, especially furnaces around this time of year. If your furnace seems to be getting louder each winter, it could be because of its proximity to the return vent, a lack of duct lining, or it may just be all around too darn big. So for suburban homeowners in search of relaxation, I have three ways to get your furnace running quieter than a terrible singer mouthing Christmas carols at the annual neighborhood holiday party this winter.