There ‘Rose Such a Clatter: Furnace Noises in the Winter

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Posted December 14, 2017

Throughout the day, your furnace probably makes some noises, but that is normal and should be of no concern. However, if your furnace begins to rattle, bang, squeal or make other unusual noises, this could be the sign of potentially serious, or even dangerous, problem. We can tell you it’s definitely not Santa Claus! Familiarize yourself with the various furnace noises that can happen in the winter:

1. Rattling

If your furnace is making a rattling noise, this could be a sign that your blower wheel is out of balance, dirty or has some loose screws somewhere. While this isn’t a huge concern, you do want to get it fixed as soon as possible so it doesn’t cause further damage – and for your own sanity.

2. Booming

A loud boom coming from your furnace usually relates to a delayed ignition. The boom is a small gas explosion resulting from gas building up in the furnace chamber due to the burner not lighting properly. If you hear a similar noise, turn off your system until a professional can inspect it.

3. Squealing

A squealing noise is not a trapped pig in your basement, as much as it may sound like one! It can indicate that something has gone wrong with the blower in the furnace. The blower belt may have slipped off its track or the motor bearings may need to be replaced or oiled. While this isn’t the most dangerous of sounds, you will still want to have it fixed as soon as possible to avoid further issues.

4. House-Shaking Rumble

A house-shaking rumble after the furnace completes a heating cycle feels and sounds like an earthquake, but thankfully it isn’t! It usually has to do with the burners being dirty or the gas pressure not being set correctly. You’ll want a technician to come out and check for any potentially harmful issues. 

5. Whistling

A whistling noise can be the sign of a clogged or dirty air filter. Make sure to change your furnace filter every 1-3 months to increase airflow, improve air quality and stop that annoying noise!

Some noises coming from your furnace are innocent or can be fixed quickly by an HVAC professional, while other sounds can be the sign of a potentially dangerous issue that should be addressed immediately. It’s always smart to turn your furnace off if you hear a strange noise until a professional can come inspect your system. Annual HVAC maintenance should also be scheduled in the fall to prevent these problems from happening in the first place. Keep your family safe by being able to recognize any of these furnace noises this winter! Call one of our technicians today to monitor and fix your electrical or heating issues.


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