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 unit starts making strange noises. Some noises — like a few minor pops or clicks before the warm air beginning to blow — are normal and harmless. But others could ruin the equipment or even endanger your health if you ignore them. While there are many more furnace noises to consider, here are nine that are worthy of an immediate furnace repair.

Scraping Furnace Noise

If you hear a sound like metal against metal, this could suggest the blower wheel has come loose from the motor shaft, or the wheel or motor mount is broke. No matter the specific problem, you should power down your furnace if you hear a scraping sound and call a professional for an critical repair.

Loud Boom at Startup

When you fire up your furnace, the burners should ignite without delay and get started heating your home. A loud boom at startup potentially means the burners are dirty, producing a delayed ignition. When the gas eventually does ignite, you hear this frightening furnace noise.

A small blast each time your furnace turns on could bust the heat exchanger, an expensive repair that may necessitate you to switch out the entire furnace. Act before it gets to this point! Turn 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 high-pitched squealing furnace noise generally indicates poor lubrication. Shaft bearings and other moving parts require lightweight oil to function smoothly. Without this, components grind against each other and cause needless wear and tear. Our recommendation is to have this problem remedied right away to avoid premature furnace failure.

Chirping Noise

The sound of a bird lodged in your furnace certainly warrants investigation. If you perceive chirping when you fire up the furnace for the first time of the season, it could merely mean your furnace is warming up after several months of no use. In this case, the sound should stop after a few cycles.

However, if the chirping continues, it could indicate the pulley for the blower motor is out of alignment or the mounting plate is contacting the blower wheel. This isn’t always a safety hazard, but the only solution to eliminate the irritating furnace noise is to have a technician conduct a repair.

Screeching Furnace

Screeching noises are an unmistakable warning sign that the fan belt is deteriorating. If the fraying belt breaks, it could create all kinds of issues inside the furnace, damaging other components and resulting in a much more expensive repair. Avoid this hassle and cost by exchanging the worn-out belt sooner rather than later.

Constant Clicking.

Some furnaces give off a fast series of clicks when they turn on and off. This is completely normal. That said, if the noise carries on longer than a minute or so, this could signal an electrical issue. Don't risk your home catching fire by a faulty electrical situation; call a furnace repair professional to fix the problem promptly.

Thwapping Sounds

The blower motor should run properly when the furnace activates. If you notice a thwapping sound that rapidly picks up speed as the blower gets going, this likely means something is snagged in the fan, and the blades are smacking it with each rotation. A quick repair should be all that's required to stop this bothersome furnace noise and prevent damaging the blower motor.

Rattling Furnace

There are several possible reasons for your furnace to produce a rattling sound. It might be as easy as a loose door cover, so start there. If the rattling persists, the most plausible reason is a malfunctioning blower motor. Take this as a warning sign to have your furnace repaired before it breaks down completely.

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 loose, allowing conditioned air to leak. These aren’t urgent matters, but if you address it promptly, you’ll spend less on your heating and cooling bills long term.

Schedule Furnace Repair with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning

Are you unsure whether the furnace noises you hear match these descriptions? Perhaps nothing is wrong, but if you want to be 100% sure, the easiest thing to do is to call a professional. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we have emergency furnace repair to get your system back up and running as quickly as possible. Be confident knowing that we stand behind our work with a one-year, 100% satisfaction guarantee. If you’re dissatisfied 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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