If you've had your furnace for several winter seasons, you know how it’s supposed to sound. So you might be caught off guard if the system starts making strange noises. Some noises — like a few faint pops or clicks ahead of the warm air beginning to blow — are completely harmless. But others could impair the equipment or even threaten your health if you ignore them. Of all the furnace noises you might encounter, here are nine that are worthy of an immediate furnace repair.
Scraping Furnace Noise
The moment you hear a sound like metal scraping on metal, this could suggest the blower wheel is becoming detached from the motor shaft, or the wheel or motor mount has broken. Regardless of 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 start your furnace, the burners should ignite immediately and begin heating your home. A loud boom at startup likely means the burners are dirty, producing a delayed ignition. When the gas finally does ignite, you hear this terrifying furnace noise.
A small explosion each time your furnace turns on could break the heat exchanger, a pricey repair that might require 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. Like many mechanical equipment with moving parts inside, they need lightweight oil to operate smoothly. If the parts are not lubricated, components grate against each other and cause unwanted wear and tear. Our recommendation is to have this situation remedied right away to protect against premature furnace failure.
The sound of a bird entrapped in your furnace certainly warrants investigation. If you notice chirping during the first furnace cycle of the season, it could simply mean your furnace is warming up after months of no use. In this case, the sound should go away after a few cycles.
However, if the chirping doesn’t subside, it could mean the pulley for the blower motor is misaligned or the mounting plate is touching the blower wheel. This isn’t automatically a safety hazard, but the only way to get rid of the pesky furnace noise is to have a technician perform a repair.
Screeching noises are definite indicators that the fan belt is wearing out. If the fraying belt cracks, it could create all kinds of issues inside the furnace, damaging other components and leading to a much more expensive repair. You can protect yourself from this unexpected expense by exchanging the worn-out belt sooner rather than later.
Some furnaces give off a quick series of clicks when they flip on and off. There is nothing unusual about that. However, if the noise lasts longer than about one minute, this could indicate an electrical problem. Don't risk your home catching fire by a faulty electrical situation; call a furnace repair professional to correct the problem without delay.
The blower motor should function properly when the furnace activates. If you notice a thwapping sound that rapidly picks up speed as the blower gets going, this is a strong indication that something is snagged in the fan, and the blades are hitting it with each rotation. A simple repair should be all it takes to stop this bothersome furnace noise and reduce the risk of damaging the blower motor.
A rattling furnace can be caused by multiple issues. It might be as simple as a loose door cover, so verify that option first. If the rattling continues, the most plausible culprit is a malfunctioning blower motor. Consider this a warning sign to have your furnace repaired before it entirely fails.
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 detached, allowing conditioned air to leak. These aren’t critical matters, but if you have them fixed quickly, you’ll pay less on your heating and cooling bills in the long run.
Schedule Furnace Repair with Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning
Are you undecided whether the furnace noises you hear correspond to these descriptions? Perhaps nothing is wrong, but for your peace of mind, the best thing to do is to call a professional. At Service Experts Heating & Air Conditioning, we have emergency furnace repair to get your unit back up and running as fast as possible. Feel safe 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 speak a Service Experts office near you.