9 Common Furnace Noises and What They Mean

If you've had your furnace for several winter seasons, you know how it’s supposed to sound. So you'll likely notice if the equipment starts making odd sounds. Some noises — like a couple of minor pops or clicks before the warm air beginning to blow — are completely harmless. But others could damage the equipment or even jeopardize your health if you ignore them. Of all the furnace noises you might encounter, here are nine that justify an immediate furnace repair.

Scraping Furnace Noise

The moment you hear a sound like metal rubbing on metal, this could indicate the blower wheel is becoming detached from the motor shaft, or the wheel or motor mount is damaged or failing. No matter what the exact problem, you should switch off your furnace if you hear a scraping sound and call a professional for an emergency repair.

Loud Boom at Startup

When you fire up your furnace, the burners should ignite immediately and start heating your home. A loud boom at startup likely means the burners are dirty, resulting in delayed ignition. When the gas at last does ignite, you hear this frightening furnace noise.

A small boom each time your furnace turns on could bust the heat exchanger, a pricey repair that might require you to replace the entire furnace. Don't wait to act when you hear a noise like that! Switch off your furnace if you hear a loud boom at startup, and don’t use it again until it has been repaired.

Squealing or Whining Sounds

A squealing furnace noise generally indicates poor lubrication. Like many mechanical equipment with moving parts inside, they need lightweight oil to operate smoothly. Without this, components grind against each other and cause unwanted wear and tear. We suggest getting this issue remedied right away to protect against premature furnace failure.

Chirping Noise

The sound of a bird lodged in your furnace certainly warrants investigation. If you hear chirping coming from the furnace upon the first activation of the season, it could merely mean your furnace is warming up after months of no use. In this situation, the sound should stop after a few cycles.

However, if the chirping does not end, it could indicate the pulley for the blower motor is out of alignment or the mounting plate is touching the blower wheel. This isn’t automatically a safety threat, but the only way to eliminate the annoying furnace noise is to have a technician conduct a repair.

Screeching Furnace

Screeching noises are clear and certain signs that the fan belt is failing. If the fraying belt splits, it could whip around inside the furnace, harming other components and contributing to a much more expensive repair. You can protect yourself from this unexpected expense by replacing the worn-out belt sooner rather than later.

Persistent Clicking.

Some furnaces give off a fast series of clicks when they flip on and off. There is nothing unusual about that. However, if the noise persists longer than approximately 60 seconds, this could indicate an electrical complication. Don't risk an electrical fire! Simply call a furnace repair professional to correct the problem without delay.

Thwapping Sounds

The blower motor should run smoothly when the furnace activates. If you discover a thwapping sound that dramatically picks up speed as the blower gets going, this could mean something is caught in the fan, and the blades are striking it with each rotation. A quick repair should be all you need to get rid of this bothersome furnace noise and protect against damaging the blower motor.

Rattling Furnace

A few different problems can cause your furnace to rattle. It might be as simple as a loose door cover, so verify that option first. If the rattling remains, the most likely reason is a declining blower motor. Consider this a warning sign to have your furnace repaired before it is an urgent situation.

Whistling or Vibrating

When these noises come from the furnace, it could mean the air intake vent is dislodged. If the whistling or vibrating comes from a vent, your ductwork is likely separated somewhere, allowing conditioned air to leak. These aren’t emergency matters, but if you fix it soon, you’ll spend less on your heating and cooling bills over the long haul.

Schedule Furnace Repair with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

Are you uncertain whether the furnace noises you hear match these descriptions? Perhaps nothing is wrong, but the only way to know for sure is to call a professional. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we provide emergency furnace repair to get your unit back up and running as quickly as possible. Rest assured knowing that we stand behind our work with a one-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re unhappy with our work anytime in the next 12 months, we’ll get it corrected! For additional information or to arrange a furnace repair visit, please contact a Service Experts office near you.

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