If you find yourself with a noisy furnace and are wondering what it could mean and what to do about it, you have landed in the right spot. Today we are chatting about the different noises you might hear from your furnace, what is normal, what is not normal, and the steps you can take to bring down the noise.
There are 8 noises you might hear. It’s important to note that if your furnace is making unusual and noticeably loud sounds, it’s likely to require professional attention.
- Banging and Popping Noises: Banging and popping sounds are oftentimes normal and don’t require any assistance or repairs. Your furnace makes these noises when the ducts expand and contract in response to temperature changes. However, there are exceptions to this, especially when the banging and popping are exceedingly loud and occur frequently. This could be caused by dirty burners, a clog, or a gas pressure problem, which should not be ignored. In this case, it is best to contact a licensed professional.
- Scraping Noises: Scraping noises, which sound like metal rubbing against metal, could be a sign of problems with your blower wheel or worn out ball bearings. If you hear this, turn your furnace off and call a licensed professional, as this could lead to serious damage to your system if not addressed.
- Rattling or Rumbling Noises: If you are hearing rattling sounds, there might be a loose panel or door. If after further inspection and tightening of panels and doors you are still hearing rattling noises, there might be a loose part within your furnace. In this case, it’s best to call a licensed professional to ensure that all parts are tightened properly and perform a thorough inspection. In some rare cases this noise can indicate a malfunctioning heat exchanger, which can be dangerous.
- Clicking Noises: Clicking noises are normal when you first turn on your furnace, as this is the sound of your ignition starting. However, clicking should not persist as that could indicate a problem with the ignition system. There are several issues that can cause this such as a dirty burner, damaged flame sensors, or a defective ignition board, compressor issues, control panel issues, and faulty fan motor. In these cases, it is best to contact a licensed professional.
- Buzzing or Humming Noises: Many furnaces produce a subtle humming or buzzing noise when running. However, a loud humming or buzzing noise could indicate issues with your furnace motor, fan, or capacitor. If you notice a loud buzzing or humming, it is best to contact a licensed professional.
- Whistling, Squealing, Screeching, Noises: If you hear high-pitch noises such as whistling, screeching or squealing, you more than likely have issues with your blower motor. Your air filter or vents could be to blame, as these impacts airflow to the blower motor. Your first action step should be to change your air filter and open all vents. Another step you could take would be to lubricate the motor bearings, which are prone to drying and can lead to these sounds. If the noise persists, it is best to contact a licensed professional, as it could indicate something more serious such as a broken belt.
- Thwapping or Whacking Noises: If you hear a thwapping or whacking noise such as the sound of something hitting a surface repeatedly, the culprit could be something touching the blower or blower blades within your unit. This usually isn’t cause for immediate concern. However, over time this can lead to increased wear and tear on your system and decreased efficiency. If you hear this noise consistently, it is best to contact a licensed professional to prevent damage over time.
- Rumbling Noises: Although slight rumbling sound could be normal after your furnace completes a cycle, a loud rumbling may indicate an issue with the burner. This issue should not be left unresolved, as it potentially poses a health hazard through risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Contact a licensed professional if you hear persisting rumbling noises.
Overall, there are many sounds you might hear from your furnace through the cold months. Although some are normal, if you notice a sound that is unusually loud that you haven’t noticed in the past, it is best to have your system thoroughly inspected by professionals.
Contact Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing if you notice unusual furnace sounds. We have been serving the residents of Central Indiana for over 20 years and we are dedicated to serving our fellow Hoosiers. We can provide you with a thorough inspection of your furnace, followed by an honest conversation about what the next best steps would be for your unique situation. We also offer annual maintenance plans to help keep your system running smoothly and consistently, no matter the season.
Brittany is a marketer, entrepreneur, and writer with previous business development experience in the home maintenance industry. She currently manages the marketing for Complete Comfort Heating, Air & Plumbing and has a passion for helping people by simplifying seemingly complicated topics related to home maintenance and repair.