It can be easy to ignore subtle noises coming from your furnace. Or rather, tune them out. The whoosh of air through your vents, for example, can become such a natural noise in the fall and winter that you don’t even notice it anymore. You might also hear your ductwork fluctuating with the temperature changes as your furnace or heat pump cycles on.
However, what about the noises that creep up on you or seem to come out of nowhere? Is it ever okay to ignore an unusual or unexpected sound? Well, you could ignore it… but you’d probably regret doing so. Unusual noises are among the first signs that something is amiss with your furnace or heating system. Read on as we uncover some of the most common sounds that indicate a furnace in disrepair.
Let’s say you hear your furnace cycle on, then right after that you hear a screech as the blower motor starts up.
The good news is, this is probably an easily resolvable problem. It’s most commonly the sign of your motor bearings needing lubrication. This is needed regularly to keep your motor and the blower fan moving smoothly without friction.
But just because it’s easily resolvable (for our technicians, that is) doesn’t mean it’s a repair need you should sit on. Contact us right away, otherwise your motor runs the risk of burning out, leading to furnace breakdown.
Have you noticed something that resembles the sound of a small explosion happening when your heater starts up? Well, we hate to be the ones to tell you, but there’s a chance you are hearing a small explosion. What can happen is that the burners can get dirty—covered with dust and other grime—and the gas jets have to burn through that grime before they can properly ignite.
So the gas builds up and pops a bit when they’re able to function properly. Now, your furnace isn’t actually going to blow up when this happens. But, this problem does put stress on the heat exchangers. What can happen, especially if you have an aging furnace, is that those heat exchangers can get damaged.
Cracked heat exchangers lead to gas leaks—like harmful carbon monoxide. Carbon monoxide can make you very ill and in severe cases can even be fatal.
When you hear rattling, you probably don’t think much of it, right? We mean, it could be nothing more than a loose panel or screw which is easily fixable. In fact, you could probably make that fix on your own (we don’t recommend any DIY furnace repairs, but a loose panel is pretty easy to tighten!)
If you visually inspect the outside of your furnace and don’t see any cause of the rattling noise though, it could be due to a broken heat exchanger, or problems with the blower. Problems like this can lead to excess heat buildup in the system and can create a whole host of problems. So, it’s definitely not something to ignore. Be sure to give our team a call!