Furnace Making Odd Sounds?

Troubleshooting 5 Sounds from your Heater

Photo Hanna Heating & Air technician working on a furnace making odd soundsYour furnace has a large job to do in heating your entire home. You are likely going to hear your furnace hard at work. These are sounds you quickly get used to and are not too loud or problematic. But are you hearing sounds coming from your furnace that are different or louder? Loud, scary sounds could be an indicator that something is wrong with your furnace.

5 sounds that might mean there’s a problem with your heating system

Graphic: furnace making loud bangs

1. Furnace turns on with a bang

If you hear a loud boom or a sound almost like a gunshot when first turning on your furnace, this could mean you have a serious problem. If a loud bang comes from your unit when you turn it on, you could have a gas build-up.

What to do? First, turn off your heater. Then call us or another HVAC professional to come and inspect your furnace. If you are dealing with a gas build-up inside your furnace, leaving it on and unchecked could cause your heat exchanger to crack. That would be a dangerous and expensive problem.

Could it be something else? Did it sound like that noise could have come from the duct work? Another possible cause of a loud bang from your HVAC system could simply be the sound of ducts suddenly expanding or contracting. That can be a startling sound, but it is a rather different sound than the bang of a gas build-up problem. If you’re not sure which part of your HVAC system you heard the loud bang come from, we are happy to come out and diagnose and fix the problem.

How to avoid this problem? The issue of gas build-up is a very preventable problem. Because this is often caused by dirty burners, regular maintenance could keep this problem from happening. Cleaning burners is part of the regular work our Hanna Heating & Air technicians handle as part of the HVAC maintenance work we do for homeowners all across and around Wichita. In fact, we provide a VIP Program for people to get regular maintenance on their units in order to ensure they are running properly and to detect (or even prevent) heating problems such as this.

Graphic: furnace sound of metal on metal

2. Sound of metal grinding

If you think you’re hearing sounds of something metal inside your furnace scraping or clanking, this could indicate you have a problem that shouldn’t be ignored. It’s possible that what you are hearing is the sound of your blower fan that’s gotten out of place and is hitting the blower house casing.

What to do? Turn off your heater and call a HVAC professional to come and check it out. A variety of problems inside the blower could be happening, from minor damage that requires very little repair to a completely broken blower fan in your furnace that needs to be replaced.

Graphic: rattling sound coming from heater

3. Furnace has begun to rattle

Usually the sound of a rattle from inside your heating unit means something is loose. It’s possible a panel or a screw that just needs to be tightened.

What to do? Contact us and one of our heating specialists will come out to diagnose and fix whatever the problem is.

Could it be something else? A rattling sound from your furnace could indicate other issues, like a crack in your heat exchanger. Had you previously heard a loud bang coming from your furnace? See the section above on banging sounds to see what could have caused your heat exchanger to crack. If tightening screws or panels don’t resolve the rattling sound, call us at (316) 945-3481 right away as a cracked heat exchanger could lead to the very dangerous problem of a carbon monoxide leak.

Graphic: flapping noises

4. Sounds like something is flapping

While probably not as loud or unsettling as metal scraping or a bang, you would be right to be concerned if you began hearing a repetitive whapping or thwapping sound coming from your HVAC unit. Most often this doesn’t mean there is a problem that is very serious. Perhaps something is stuck in the blower blades. But while this isn’t indicative of a dangerous problem, it still needs to be addressed otherwise more damage could be done to your heating system.

What to do? Call us at (316) 945-3481. While this sound isn’t usually indicative of a dangerous problem, it still needs to be addressed to handle whatever minor problem may exist, otherwise whatever is causing this problem could lead to damage of a greater degree that could require a larger and more costly repair to your heating system.

Graphic: squealing sounds from HVAC

5. Your heater is squealing

Perhaps the most annoying of all problematic sounds your furnace could make is one of screeching or squealing. Simply wanting to stop the aggravating sound is enough of a reason to rush to get this issue fixed. The reason why you might be hearing your furnace squeal could be because of a faulty belt or a problem with your fan motor.

What to do? Call us. Either of these likely issues are relatively minor fixes and our experienced furnace technicians can be called upon to handle quickly and easily.

Could it be something else? The squealing could because components inside your heating system aren’t adequately lubricated. While this is also a relatively easy fix, ignoring this can lead to much more serious damage and larger repairs could be needed later.

How to avoid this problem? Regular maintenance on your heating system might have led to a skilled HVAC technician detecting the sorts of problems before they led to any concerning sounds.

What furnace sounds are normal?

Hanna Heating and Air van in front of West Wichita location.Is your furnace making odd sounds other than those listed above? There are many normal sounds you can expect to hear your furnace make, such as:

  • Humming
  • Chirping
  • Crackling
  • Pinging

Of course, if any of those “normal” sounds suddenly changes in volume or intensity, there is no danger in getting it checked out to make sure your furnace is still running fine. Feel free to call Hanna Heating & Air and we can have a heating technician diagnose the reason behind your furnace making odd sounds. And if you want the peace of mind in knowing that your furnace is kept in good working order and that serious and dangerous problems aren’t developing, become a member of our HVAC VIP Program. As a VIP member, you will get timely and professional maintenance done on your heating and cooling system at a discount. We will deliver preventative maintenance in the spring and fall to make sure your HVAC system is running fine before you need it.

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Hanna Heating and Air has been a trusted name in Wichita for 3 generations. With locations in Wichita, Newton and Andover, trust our HVAC technicians to be ready to deliver the services you need. Stop by and see our showroom of products on display at our main Wichita location at 220 N. West St. We are conveniently near the center of town. From Kellogg, take the West St. exit heading north. Our large West Wichita location is just a mile up the road on your right.

Need a repair today? With more than 70 trucks in the field, you can be sure no other local heating and air company can deliver faster professional service.

Whether you need repair, maintenance, or new installation of your furnace or air conditioner, contact us today to let us get our comfort specialists right to work on your home or business.

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