3 Common Furnace Noises and What They Mean

3-common-furnace-noisesYou know the old saying “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”?

We all know our older household appliances still keep us cozy in more ways than one, and your furnace is no exception to that rule.

Just like a somewhat outdated cell phone, last year’s jeans or your trusty minivan, you can still get great results out of the old furnace – like keeping all 10 fingers and toes toasty warm during a cold Minnesota winter for example!

But what if your furnace SOUNDS broken? Here are some common furnace noises that should never be ignored:

1. Booms or thuds

A loud ‘BOOM’ always seems to startle and catch us off guard, but that doesn’t mean it should be forgotten once you manage catch your breath.

While these types of noises can happen when ducts expand and contract in extremely cold weather – especially if your basement isn’t heated – this can also indicate a problem with dirty burners or a build up of gas from delayed ignition.

2. Rumbling

What’s the difference between a rattling and a rumbling furnace, you may ask? These two noises can sound very similar but have different issues behind them.

A strange rumbling sound can be caused a build up of grime on heating elements, which can strain its ability to function and could even lead to serious mechanical problems in the future.

Worst-case scenario, while a rumbling noise doesn’t always indicate there’s a major problem with your furnace, this could be a sign that there’s a leak in the heater exchanger, which can allow dangerous carbon monoxide gases to seep into your home.

3. Screeching

“I love that nails on a chalkboard sound”… said nobody EVER.

No matter the culprit, this is never pleasant to hear, and it’s usually even more worrisome when a screeching sound is coming from your furnace.

A noise like this can occur when the motor or blower wheel of the furnace fan turns on, but it’s usually more of a metallic “chirping” sound. A louder grinding or squealing is often due to a faulty motor, motor bearing or belt, all of which would indicate repairs are needed.

Remember…

This is just a guide of some of the most common furnace noises.

Other types of noises can emanate from your furnace, which is why it’s important to take preventative measures, like regular furnace tune-ups and maintenance checks, in order to resolve minor issues now. You’ll be more likely save money by being proactive, rather than risking large-scale repairs further down the road…

If you’re not sure whether the sounds coming from your furnace are normal, call your handy nephew or your local HVAC company, since waiting or ignoring the noise could potentially make the issue worse.

Above all, be sure you and your family are safe and warm all winter long!