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Furnace Noises: What’s Normal and What’s Bad

Woman next to furnace.

Furnaces Noises Explained

At some point, all appliances and mechanical equipment make a noise you haven’t heard before. You may begin to worry that something is broken or even ignore the noise. While some noises are perfectly normal and occur often, there are noises that shouldn’t be ignored for the sake of saving your heater.

The last thing anyone wants is to ignore a potential issue with their heater and experience it breaking down during the winter. Our team at Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical wants to help you learn the difference between normal sounds your heater may make and sounds that need immediate attention.

What are Normal Noises?

There are several reasons your heater can make a noise every once in a while that may grab your attention. However, not all noises are bad or mean you have an issue that needs to be fixed.

If you haven’t used your heater in a while, you may hear a noise when it first turns on. This usually isn’t something you should worry about because it’s normal for heaters to sound a bit different when they’re being used for the first time in a while.

Depending on how long you’ve had your heater, you may sometimes notice your heater making a noise like a pop or click. Don’t worry; older furnaces tend to make sounds and are generally noisier than newer heating systems. Even if your heater is on the older side, it shouldn’t make too much noise so that it disrupts your daily activities.

Also, if your heater has multiple speed adjustments, you may hear it make a noise to keep up with the new speed it’s set to. It may sound like switching gears and can easily be fixed by insulating your heater so that the noise isn’t as loud.

Here are some other noises that are okay:

  • Chirping, which is likely linked to the mechanics inside of the heater.
  • Crackling once the heater stops are sometimes caused by the metal components cooling down.
  • Humming is normal once your heater ignites.
  • Pinging can be a result of metal coming into contact with your duct system.

While all of these noises occur often and are perfectly normal, other signs shouldn’t go ignored.

What are Irregular Noises?

Now that you know which noises are normal, here are some noises you shouldn’t ignore and address as soon as you can by contacting your local HVAC technician.

Loud Bangs and Booms

If you hear a loud bang or boom when you turn on your heater, you may have gas build-up in your heating system.

Metal Against Metal

If you begin to hear scraping and clanking like metal clashing together, there may be an issue with your furnace’s blower wheel. To fix this, turn off your heater and contact an HVAC technician to inspect your heater.

Buzzing, Humming, or Rattling

While these sounds aren’t always alarming and could be as simple as a loose screw or door, you should still get your heater inspected to prevent more damage if it makes any of these noises.

Screeching or Squealing

Screeching and squealing don’t always mean there’s a problem with your furnace. However, it’s something you should keep an ear out for and listen to closely. Sometimes a loose or damaged blower belt can cause your heater to make a screeching or whistling sound that means some of your moving parts may be dry. An experienced HVAC professional can easily check and fix the problem for you.

Contact An HVAC Expert in Saskatoon

Some problems with your heating system can’t wait and shouldn’t be ignored. At Centennial Plumbing, Heating & Electrical our trained HVAC experts are equipped with the knowledge and tools necessary to listen to and inspect issues with your heater. We’re here to help you stay warm any time of the year! Give us a call today at (306) 500-7392 to schedule an appointment and we can address your concerns right away!