When it comes to using your heater, there isn’t going to be anybody besides you and your family who will know the everyday noises it makes. So, if you hear something new and unusual, you’re probably right to be alarmed! Now, there are some heating system noises that aren’t too much of a concern, but others that can indicate some pretty big trouble brewing inside the system.
From subtle rattling to screeching or clicking, below we’ve covered what these suspicious heater noises can mean for your heating system and why you should invest in repairs asap.
A loud screeching noise is most likely an indication that the blower motor of your furnace isn’t working as it should. A malfunctioning blower motor means that the heat getting produced by the system won’t actually be able to circulate into your home.
The noise itself is most likely coming from worn-down motor bearings. This is a natural part of wear and tear! However, it must be remedied once you notice it. The screeching is coming from friction, and if you don’t have a professional re-lubricate or replace the worn-down bearings, that friction can cause the motor bearings to overheat, the motor to break down, and even the entire heater to shut down years before it was meant to.
If you discover something that sounds like metal on metal, then you probably are hearing metal on metal, and this can be the sign of a serious problem with your furnace’s blower wheel. If this is indeed the case, you need to turn off your furnace and contact a professional right away to prevent further damage. Remember, more damage means more expensive repair needs!
Another possibility is there is a loose component within the system. Again, while this can start out as minor, ignoring the problem only gives it the opportunity to grow into a bigger and more urgent need.
Banging or Booming
Usually, the bang or the boom you might hear coming from your furnace is the sign of a dirty burner. This may sound like a minor issue, but it can actually become dangerous. The sound you’re hearing is caused by a delay in ignition due to dirt and grime buildup. The gas builds up under that later of grime, and when it ignites, it burns through the dirt and then “bursts” as it breaks through, creating the bang or the boom that you hear.
The reason this is a problem is that this can rattle the entire heater, damaging other components–such as the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger houses potentially harmful carbon monoxide gas (CO) that you don’t want your household to be exposed to.
Now, cleaning the burners yourself isn’t something we suggest. There’s room for error here, and ultimately we don’t want you to put your safety or your budget at risk. It’s always best to call in a trained, experienced, and qualified HVAC professional, particularly when dealing with gas components.