You turn your heater on, after a long season of hard work. You wait for that familiar whir sound of the fans… but then you hear something else. Maybe it’s a rattling sound or banging.
The fact is, if you hear anything outside of the normal noises of heater operation, it’s time to give us a call. Of course, strange heater symptoms are a lot less likely if you had your system properly maintained in the fall. During maintenance, our technicians thoroughly inspect, adjust, and clean the components that need it to make sure that the system works as efficiently and effectively as possible.
Let’s say you do hear some unusual noises from your system, what should you do? Well, call us! But what unusual noises are we talking about? Here are 4 in particular.
Have you discovered a “clanking” noise, or rather something that resembles metal-on-metal? Then that likely is what you’re hearing, is metal-on-metal. This is most likely a problem with your heater’s blower wheel. If this is indeed the case, then the first thing you should do is turn your heater off. Then, you should give us a call. Contacting a trained professional right away is the best way to prevent further damage.
Do you hear a screeching sound coming from anywhere within your heating system? This can be a sign that the blower motor has lost lubrication (which is a natural part of wear and tear) or that something else is causing it not to work as it should. A failing or malfunctioning blower motor means that the heat actually being generated by the system won’t be able to circulate throughout your home.
If your blower motor needs lubrication, it’s a simple job for our technicians, but should definitely be done right away to prevent overheating and subsequent heater breakdown.
To properly diagnose exactly what’s going on, it’s important that you contact a trained and experienced HVAC technician.
In some cases, a slight rattling noise is nothing. Or rather, it’s normal. If you’ve always heard a slight rattling sound as your heater cycles on, you may be hearing the ductwork fluctuate with the temperature changes. But if this rattling increases or gets a lot louder, then it’s time to call us.
While rare, a cracked or broken heat exchanger can cause a rattling sound, and that’s definitely not something you should ignore. Cracked heat exchangers can allow carbon monoxide gas to leak into your living space, leading to illness or even worse.
4. Banging or Booming
If you hear a small explosion within your furnace or gas-powered heater on startup, it’s never something to ignore. This noise can be caused by something relatively minor—dirt and grime buildup on the burners. What happens is that the jets get dirt and grime on them, then the gas has to burn through the grime before reaching your heat exchangers, forming a pocket of gas. When this gas ignites, it causes that banging sound, and can also rattle the heat exchangers—which we just mentioned above is a bad thing!