Home furnaces definitely aren’t the quietest pieces of equipment on the market, so determining if the noises they make are normal or indicators of a problem can be difficult. It can be hard to tell the difference between a minor problem and one that requires immediate attention from an HVAC and furnace installation expert. As a homeowner, it’s unsettling to hear disturbing noises coming from your appliance, so Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning is here to share a helpful guide on identifying noises and dealing with a loud furnace.
Is Noise a Serious Problem?
A loud furnace should never be ignored, no matter how tempting it may be to turn your back on the problem. The fact that this is occurring at all indicates that something is wrong with the unit’s internal workings. Depending on the situation, you could be confronted with a wide range of issues that necessitate immediate attention.
A noisy furnace may be a sign that there will be more problems in the future. For example, a snag in a blower belt may appear to be a minor problem at first. Over time, however, it will become more and more loose, and eventually the fan will cease to function entirely. A breakdown of your furnace can occur seemingly out of nowhere, and this is the last thing you want to happen during the frigid winter months. By addressing such issues with inspections and repairs as soon as they arise, you can reduce the likelihood of damage, as well as avoid interrupting your heating service experience.
An unnaturally loud furnace can pose a danger to you and your family in some situations. Keep in mind that furnaces make use of combustion to provide indoor comfort when the weather outside becomes cold. When something goes wrong, there’s a significant risk of personal injury or property damage occurring. It’s possible that delayed ignition caused by excessive dirt buildup inside the furnace, particularly on the burners, can result in gas building up to such a high level that an explosion or fire will occur. In addition, carbon monoxide can leak into your house as a result of a faulty exhaust pipe or a damaged heat exchanger.
Keep in mind that a noisy furnace consumes more energy than it produces. It may not appear to be on the verge of becoming a health and safety hazard for everyone in your household, but it will nonetheless become a problem. Ignoring these noises for an extended time will cause the unit to consume an excessive amount of energy simply to keep your home comfortable. This will reduce the expected lifespan of your furnace, increase your heating bills and waste valuable fuel resources, so it’s important to pay attention if you need a furnace or air conditioner repair.
The Meaning Behind Strange Furnace Noises
If your furnace makes squealing, banging, thumping or wheezing noises when it’s turned on or in use, you should contact a local heating and cooling services contractor right away. The longer you wait, the worse the problem will get, and the more expensive it will be to fix. The following are some of the more unusual noises that a furnace can make, as well as the meanings behind each of them:
Whistling noises. Several factors can contribute to whistling noises coming from your furnace. You may notice small gaps in your ductwork, which can be a possible cause of the noises. A small hole near the point where the duct and furnace connect, particularly in the area close to the blower, could also be responsible for the noise. Another likely cause of the whistling noises is dust and dirt clogging the furnace filter, which is a common occurrence. Consider removing the filter to see if the noise is reduced or eliminated. If it is, you’ll need to clean or replace the filter. The fan draws air from wherever it can find it. By replacing the filter, not only will you be reducing the noise, you’ll also be preventing the fan motor in your furnace from wearing out.
Squealing noises. In most cases, this type of furnace noise indicates that it’s time for a minor tune-up and maintenance. You’ll most likely need to adjust or replace a faulty drive belt, which is something you should do first. It could also be a sign that the bearings in the blower motor have worn out. Contact your trusted heating service contractor as soon as possible so that he or she can accurately pinpoint the source of the noise.
Banging noises. A constant banging or popping noise coming from inside the furnace could indicate any number of different problems. For example, the heating unit has likely accumulated an excessive amount of dirt. If the gas isn’t removed immediately during a routine maintenance check, it can cause gas combustion issues, which can result in a variety of problems such as cracks and splinters on the heat exchanger or a delay in ignition. When the weather gets cold, ductwork can expand and contract in response to the cold. When the sheet metal is exposed to low temperatures, it contracts and expands when the furnace is turned on. In the duct seams, stress builds up, causing buckling of the metal inward and the production of a banging sound.
Scraping noises. A loud scraping noise coming from inside your furnace could indicate that the blower wheel is out of alignment and hitting the blower house casing regularly. It’s sufficient for you to turn off the heating equipment and contact a furnace installation and maintenance expert to have the problem resolved. The grinding sound of metal against metal should be enough to alert you to the problem.
Rattling noises. You shouldn’t be too concerned about the noise coming from your furnace at this point. The problems that arise as a result of it, fortunately, are easily remedied. For example, loose fittings aren’t uncommon, particularly if the heating unit is used regularly during the winter months. The screws should be tightened to stop the annoying noises. It’s also possible that the blower fan and motor aren’t getting enough lubrication. These internal components force air through your ductwork, resulting in a great deal of noise. If it becomes unusually loud, on the other hand, this indicates that they need to be greased more.
Dealing With a Loud Furnace
A little troubleshooting can usually solve the problem of a noisy furnace. Check the access panel to ensure that all of the screws and fittings are properly tightened and secured before using it again. The best course of action, however, would be to consult with a certified HVAC contractor who has extensive experience in furnace installation and repair to ensure your safety and the continued performance of your furnace. The technician will be able to locate the source of the noise and make the necessary repairs to get your equipment back up and running smoothly again as soon as possible. They may, however, recommend that the entire system be replaced if it’s discovered that it’s nearing the end of its service life.
Bill Reynolds Heating & Air Conditioning specializes in all types of HVAC services, including air conditioner repair, indoor air quality services and plumbing installation. Call us at (440) 946-7863 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.