17 Dec Furnace Noisy? Which Furnace Noises are Normal and Which Ones Warrant a Call to Your Kansas City HVAC Service Company
Your furnace is a lot like your car. Eventually, you learn all of its “normal” noises, so when you hear something that sounds off, you wonder what’s wrong. And more importantly, if the noise means something serious is going on.
Furnaces are mechanical, so noises come with the territory of operating them. That being said, furnace noises outside the usual should be checked by a trusted Kansas City HVAC service company, like Chief Heating & Cooling.
Furnace Noises That are Normal
It may sound silly or obvious, but your furnace will make noise when it turns on. Of course, this is normal and nothing to worry about. It may seem like it’s loud, but it may be just be loud in comparison to the quiet before the furnace kicked on. Just like a car’s engine hums, so will your furnace when running.
If you hear a click when your furnace starts, that can be part of the ignition process. Think of it like the clicking that you hear when you turn on a gas stove burner.
Keep in mind that older furnaces tend to be noisier than newer systems. If you’ve had your furnace for a while, then you might not have a comparison to how quiet new furnaces are. If you recently bought your home and the furnace is older than what you had before, then you might be aware of the difference. Home inspections cover the HVAC system, so a “loud” furnace generally isn’t a cause for concern.
Replaced your single-speed furnace with a variable-speed model? Then you’ll appreciate how much quieter the variable-speed is compared to your old furnace that blows at full force for its entire heating cycle.
Hear metal popping or banging? Especially on very frigid days, the heated air blowing through your ducts can cause the cold metal to expand, which makes a popping sound. Nothing to be alarmed about. The same noise can happen when your furnace cycles off and the metal ducts cool down.
Furnace Noises That Warrant a Call to Your Kansas City HVAC Service Company
You’ll notice some of the noises that warrant a call to Chief Heating & Cooling are the same as the ones that are normal. Only there’s something different about the hum, click, pop or bang. Note the key differences below and what might be happening with your furnace.
When the pops or bangs are louder than what’s normal with your metal ductwork expanding and contracting, then it might mean the burners on your gas furnace need to be cleaned. Dirty burners can allow gas to build up and when the furnace kicks on, the gas burns and you hear the louder pop or bang. Turn off your furnace to avoid serious, expensive-to-repair damage and call us immediately.
If you’re enrolled in our Chief Protection Plan, one of our technicians checks your burners and ensures they are clean. It’s part of the maintenance service.
Louder-than-usual humming can be a cause for concern. Unlike the normal low hum, a loud humming can indicate a problem with your furnace fan or capacitor. These components are checked during an annual service tune up, but if you skipped that this year, loud humming warrants a call to us.
While a click is normal when your furnace kicks on, a continual clicking is not. If the clicking doesn’t stop during the heating cycle, call Chief because it could mean that your furnace’s control panel or compressor is failing or has a problem.
Clanks, thumps or metal-versus-metal noises are hard to miss. They’re very loud and usually are associated with serious blower wheel issues. Turn off your furnace and contact us immediately. Why? Your blower fan could be loose and clanking against the casing or it could be broken, the bearings could be dry, or the assembly piece may have fallen apart.
A high-pitched squeal usually means an issue with your furnace’s blower motor. Most of the time, it’s a loose belt that’s squealing, but other times it’s a more serious problem. Annual service work checks furnace belts, but again, if it’s been a while since your furnace was serviced, it’s time to get that squeal checked out and fixed.
Rumbling and/or rattling could be a screw loose (easy to fix and non-life threatening) or it could be fuel still burning in your furnace’s combustion chamber after the burners shut down. Any problem with your burners, pilot light (should burn blue with possibly yellow at the tip) or flame sensors can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning for you and your family. Shut off the furnace immediately and call us. Rumbles and/or rattles are serious and possibly life-threatening.
Better Safe Than Sorry
Having your furnace checked annually can avoid many of the uncertainties of furnace noises, since regular maintenance catches minor issues before they turn into dangerous, expensive problems. You can put yearly maintenance on autopilot by signing up for our Chief Protection Plan.
We covered the usual noises above, but we can’t cover everything because we’re dealing with mechanical systems with moving parts. It is better to be safe than sorry, so call us when you hear anything out of the ordinary or you’re not sure whether it’s normal or not. It’s the only way to know with 100% certainty whether your noisy furnace is normal or showing signs of more serious problems.