red-haired-woman-covering-ears-distressedIt’s a pleasant winter evening, and you’re snug as a bug in your home, enjoying some well-deserved peace and quiet.

Until your furnace starts making an alarming noise. Are those the sirens for speedy furnace repair?

Furnaces today are specifically designed to operate as quietly as possible – so if you’re hearing any unusual ear-shattering, house-shaking noises, there’s a problem.

Furnace Noises You Shouldn’t Ignore

Here are some of the noises that will signal there’s something wrong with your furnace or ductwork:

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  • Banging
  • Rattling
  • Whistling
  • Screeching – think metal on metal
  • Loud humming

If you hear any of these sounds, you should book an appointment with a professional service technician for an inspection or repair.

What is the Cause of My Noisy Furnace?

There are several reasons why this common furnace problem could be disrupting you.

1. Small Ducts or Gaps in Your Ductwork

Type of Noise: Whistling

Any gaps in your ductwork can generate a whistling sound. In most cases, this can be traced back to the connection point between your ducts and your furnace.

This sound can also be generated by ducts that are too small for the amount of air being sent through them.

These are both issues that we recommend leaving to the pros.

2. Your Filter is Clogged

Type of Noise: Whistling

Clogged filters restrict airflow in your furnace. Restricted airflow can generate a whistling sound.

If the whistling is a recent noise you’ve never heard before, trying turning off your furnace and removing the furnace filter. If it is clogged with dirt and dust, it should be cleaned or replaced.

When you turn the furnace back on – with the fresh filter in place – listen closely for any whistling sounds. There’s a good chance replacing the filter fixed the issue.

Remember: While the filter is safe to change on your own, you should never try any internal DIY furnace repairs.

3. Your Ductwork is Flexing

Type of Noise: Banging

Sometimes ductwork will flex when there are pressure changes between the return and supply ducts. This is called ‘oil-canning’, and occurs when there is a weak spot in the ducts that needs reinforcement.

One thing that’s good to keep in mind is that ducts – particularly older ones – are a conduit for sound, so it’s normal to hear the odd pop or ping.

If the banging is continous, this could be a sign that your ducts are oil-canning. This is something you will need a professional to fix – but you can help make their job easier by following the sound and attempting to pinpoint where the banging originates.

4. The Burners Are Dirty, Causing a Delayed Ignition

Type of Noise: Banging

A delayed ignition occurs when the inside of your furnace – specifically the burners – are dirty. Instead of lighting immediately, there is gas buildup that creates a bang when it finally lights.

This is something we check in our annual maintenance appointments. If you haven’t had your furnace cleaned in awhile, a service visit will likely fix the problem.

5. There May Be a Screw Loose

Type of Noise: Rattling

Rattling noises can either be a super easy fix or a serious problem.

The super easy fix is just tightening up any loose screws. When they’re not nice and tight, they can be quite loud.

All you have to do is turn off your furnace, and use a screwdriver to carefully tighten the screws on the sides of your furnace. If you’re unsure about doing this, you can ask us to come perform a maintenance check, and we’ll take care of it for you.

If this rectifies the rattling, well done! If it doesn’t, move on to the next item on this list.

6. There’s a Crack in the Heat Exchanger

Type of Noise: Rattling

A cracked heat exchanger occurs when heat builds up in the heat exchanger due to improper airflow. This is a serious issue, as cracks lead to carbon monoxide leaks that will set off your alarm.

Remember: When a carbon monoxide alarm goes off, everyone in the house should get out immediately.

If you hear a rattling that doesn’t seem to be caused by any loose parts, call us immediately so we can investigate and make the necessary repairs.

7. The Blower Wheel is Loose

Type of Noise: Screeching/scraping

The blower wheel helps with air circulation. Sometimes it can become loose, and bump up against the shell of the blower.

If you hear the screeching/scraping sound, turn off your furnace and book a repair appointment. Continuing to use your furnace when the blower wheel is loose could cause serious damage to both the wheel and the fan – and that could be a more costly fix.

8. Your Blower Motor Isn’t Working Properly

Type of Noise: Screeching

Your furnace blower is what pushes warm air through your ducts and into your home. It needs proper lubrication in order to work properly.

If your blower motor isn’t properly oiled – much like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz – it’ll cause problems for the rest of your furnace.

So if your furnace begins to screech like one of the evil flying monkeys, we recommend turning off your furnace promptly and contacting us.

We’ll Fix Your Furnace and Your Noise Problem

A noisy furnace is distracting and distressing – and could be an early warning sign of bigger problems to come. The team at Husky can thoroughly inspect your furnace, identify the problem, and provide the solution.

When we’re done, you’ll have the peace of mind that your furnace is working safely and efficiently – and you’ll have the silence to prove it.

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