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New Homeowner's Furnace Noise Guide

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When you move into your first house, one of the things that you may be surprised about is how much noise you hear from your home's heating system. Before you panic at every little sound, you should understand what many of those noises mean. When you know what to expect, it takes a lot of the uncertainty out of it. Here's a look at some of the things you might hear and what you should know about what those sounds mean.

Sounds From The Furnace

If you're hearing thuds, bangs, or similar noises from the furnace itself when it starts, that's often a warning sign of a delay in the ignition system. The bang is caused by the accumulation of gas on the burner, which is the result of gas being released before the pilot light actually ignites it. This causes combustion that can actually lead to damage on the heat exchanger. Problems like this are often the result of things like a damaged burner assembly, a dirty burner, or an issue with the pilot light.

A furnace that's rumbling or sounds like it's growling is often due to a leaky heat exchanger. If your heat exchanger is actually leaking, it means that you'll need to replace the furnace to fix the problem.

Squealing and screeching noises usually result from the blower motor, the belt, or the bearings in the furnace. You may be able to have a service technician replace the belt, lubricate the bearings, or repair the blower motor to restore the proper operation.

Sounds From The Ducts

Bangs, rattles, and whining or whistling from the air ducts indicate that you have a problem with airflow in the system. This often happens due to air filter limitations, air register obstructions, or clogged air ducts. Replace the air filter, or have a maintenance technician inspect the ductwork for problems.

Ticking and popping often occur when the air ducts are expanding or contracting due to temperature differences. The expansion and contraction of the air duct material that occurs due to the air temperature difference is what causes this noise. You can reinforce the air ducts against the brackets with a foam wedge or some insulating tape to prevent the problem.

If you're uncertain about any noise that you hear, it's always best to call a furnace repair technician from a company like Able Plumbing-Pumps & Well Service for some clear, practical advice and tips. Routine inspections and maintenance can also help combat these problems.