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Decoding the Sounds Your Furnace Makes

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Furnaces tend to be the one thing in your home that can be neglected. Out of sight, out of mind as they say. However, your furnace may get your attention by making various sounds.

  • If you hear a screeching noise, it may be that you have a problem with the motor, or it might be a bearing in the motor that is making the noise.

  • If you hear a metallic chirping noise, it may just be a natural noise that the motor or the blower wheel of the fan makes when the heat first kicks on. You might be able to solve this problem yourself by wiggling the wheel, which may be out of alignment. You should also check that the mounting plate is not warped and rubbing against the blower wheel. As well, check that the motor mounts are not loose and the bearings are in good shape.

  • If you hear a noisy rattling sound when your furnace shuts off, it is probably the metal parts to your furnace cooling down. However, it may be something more serious and you should call a furnace repairperson.

  • If you hear a clanging noise, the problem is probably in the pipes, rather than the furnace itself. This may be caused by contraction of the pipes when the furnace turns off and the pipes cool down.

  • A loud boom or thud may lead to the ducts, which can expand and contract in cold weather, especially if the basement is not heated. It might also indicate a problem with dirty burners in the furnace. You might be able to remove and clean these yourself with hot soapy water. Make sure they are completely dry before reinstalling them. If you determine that it is not the ducts or the burners, it may be that your gas valve is defective, which can cause a delayed ignition. In most cases, it is wise to call a service technician.

  • A pinging or popping sound is most likely coming from one of the ducts and is not really something to worry about.

  • If you hear an odd vibrating noise or whining, it may indicate a problem with your furnace and a technician really needs to check it out.

  • A loud humming may come from the furnace burners light when temperatures dip outside. You can eliminate this noise by turning the off/pilot/on control to reduce the burner flame.

  • If you hear a rattling noise when the furnace starts up, it might be a motor bearing.

  • A crackling noise might just be the metal parts cooling down when the furnace shuts down.

  • A clunking and bumping sound indicates a cracked belt.

If you have an older furnace, it is likely that you’ve experienced some of these noises. However, most of the newer gas furnaces have a noise-reduction system.  York FurnaceIf you determine that you need a professional to inspect your furnace and you live in Los Angeles County area, you will want to go to Service technicians are available at no extra charge at night and on weekends or holidays.  

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