When your furnace is working properly, you shouldn’t notice it much as it runs in the background. But when something is on the fritz, your furnace will warn you with a variety of sounds. Thankfully, you don’t have to speak HVAC to have an idea of what some sounds could mean. And when you know what you could be dealing with when you hear a strange noise coming from your heating system, you’ll be able to help your HVAC professional narrow down the cause and get the problem fixed before the cost snowballs out of control.

Some sounds are more serious than others while others are normal. This guide will help you get started on the troubleshooting process.

Clicking Sounds

It’s perfectly normal to hear a single click when your furnace first turns on. This means your furnace is igniting and getting ready to blow heat through your home. You’ll also hear a single click when your furnace is turning off, and the blower will turn off shortly after this happens.

However, if you’re hearing repeated clicks, there could be a problem with the controller or the relay. These sounds could be coming from the control panel or the compressor. Relays can be replaced, however.

Pops and Bangs

Hearing popping and banging sounds coming from your furnace can be alarming, but take a breath: not all of these sounds are cause for alarm.

If you’re hearing popping sounds coming from your ductwork, it’s likely just that: the ductwork. Metal can “pop” as it heats up and cools down again, and air pressure can also cause these noises. Your ductwork could also be the wrong size for your furnace. Try opening closed vents and changing your air filters. If that doesn’t work, having your ductwork upgraded or repaired can help.

Bangs and pops that occur when your furnace is first turning on can mean that you have dirty burners. This can cause gas to build up in your furnace before igniting. Having your furnace professionally cleaned should solve this problem, and the good news is that this service is inexpensive.

Squeals and Screeches

No one wants to hear these annoying sounds. When you begin hearing squeals and screeches, it’s usually the blower at fault. Belts and motor bearings can go bad, but the good news is that you can have these repaired before they break and cause your blower to stop working.

A “flapping” sound when your blower is running, however, may simply be something stuck in the blades such as a piece of paper. Having it removed can extend the life of your blower motor.

Rattles, Thumps, and Bumps

Blower motors can wear out, and when they do, these sounds are common. These sounds can come from the blower motor itself or the motor mounts. Something can come loose, causing rattling, or break completely, leading to loud bangs and thumps while the blower is running. Yikes! If this happens, stop using your furnace and call a professional before more damage occurs. This will save you money.

Rattling can also come from fans with loose parts or from fans getting ready to fail. This also needs to be looked at by a pro.

Humming and Screaming

Compressors can fail, and often make constant humming or squealing sounds as they do. If you hear squeals and hums that continue for more than a very short time, then it’s time to call in a pro.

At Southeastern Mechanical Services, we’re here to help you with all your furnace needs and ready to diagnose the issue if your furnace starts going bump in the night. Contact us today.

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