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What's that noise coming from my furnace?

Many homeowners ask, "Why is my furnace so loud?" Furnaces can make a variety of noises for different reasons. How do you know which ones you should worry about? In this article we go over some different sounds that can come from your furnace, what they mean and what to do about it.

Squealing/Whining

  1. Loose, slipping, or fraying blower belt – Adjust or replace the belt.
  2. Unlubricated shaft bearings – Oil moving parts.
  3. Malfunctioning blower motor – Fix or replace blower motor.

Whistling

  1. Small holes or gaps in the ducts – Seal ducts.
  2. Clogged filter – Change filter.
  3. Undersized ducts – Get new ductwork that is the right size.

Rattling

  1. Loose parts and/or screws – Overtime parts and screws can become loose. Tighten loose screws.
  2. Cracked heat exchanger – As your furnace heats up and cools down, the metal surfaces will naturally expand and contract and overtime, the exchanger will crack. Replace heat exchanger.

Banging/Popping

  1. Dirty furnace burners – Delays furnace from igniting causing excess gas buildup. Clean furnace burners or have a professional help.
  2. Expanding and contracting air ducts – Caused by undersized air ducts, closed vents, or a clogged air filter. Change filter, make sure vents are open and check your ductwork.

Scraping (metal against metal) Immediately turn off your furnace! Allowing the furnace to operate when there is a problem with the blower wheel could cause further damage to your equipment.

  1. Blower wheel loose – Could be hitting the blower casing. Depending on the damage, a professional can tighten the wheel or may need to replace it.
  2. Blower wheel broken – Replace blower wheel or have a professional replace it for you.
  3. Motor mount broke – Can cause the whole blower assemply to drop and hit the housing. The wheel may need to be tightened or replaced.

Furnaces often make noises, especially older ones. Some sounds may not be cause for concern like minor pops from the ducts and humming as the blower runs. If the noises are unusually loud and frightening, you definitely should have a professional check it out. It’s better to be safe than sorry because a minor repair can turn in to a major repair that will end up costing you a lot of money.

Right Now Air & Solar is here to help you if you are concerned about the noises coming from your furnace. We recommend having your furnace tuned-up every year before winter to make sure it’s in safe working condition. Request furnace service or contact us.

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