Pretty soon, you’ll be turning on your furnace in preparation for fall and winter. When you do, there are three distinct sounds you don’t want to hear coming from your furnace anytime – day or night:
- Scrapes or scratches
- Bangs or pops
- Squeals or whines
You Heard: A Loud Scraping Noise
It Means: Something’s Up With the Blower Wheel
If you hear a grating metal-on-metal noise coming from inside your furnace, turn it off immediately and call us for emergency repairs.
Without a blower wheel, the air inside your furnace stays there and doesn’t get blown throughout your home.
There are three common blower wheel issues which can be fixed with a furnace repair visit:
- Issue 1: The wheel came apart from the shaft. Blower wheels are connected to a motor shaft with a set screw. If the wheel comes loose, it’ll bang against the blower casing.
- Issue 2: The blower wheel is broken. In this case, it’ll need to be replaced.
- Issue 3: The motor mount itself is damaged. This can be bad. The entire blower unit (wheel, assembly, everything) has collapsed and landed on the housing.
You Heard: Banging or Popping
It Means: Dirty Burners or an Air Duct Issue
When dirt, debris or other contaminants reach the burners inside your furnace, it prevents them from igniting immediately.
That’s because a small amount of gas is building up. The bang or pop you hear is actually the gas build-up igniting.
And yes, that’s quite dangerous.
A small pop here and there may not sound like much. But over a prolonged period, those tiny explosions can do big damage to the heat exchanger.
Ongoing furnace maintenance can help keep those vital burners running smoothly, safely and cleanly
Do you have metal ducts in your home?
If you go back to your elementary school science class, you’ll remember metal expands and contracts when heated and cooled.
So, with that in mind:
- Turning on the blower = generates heat = metal ducts expand
- Turning off the blower = removes heat = metal ducts contract
As the metal ducts expand and contract, they make a banging or popping sound.
Fortunately, there are a few ways to fix this:
- Install bigger and/or stronger ducts
- Open any closed vents
- Clean and/or replace a dirty air filter
You Heard: A High-Pitched Squeal or Whine
It Means: A Bunch of Different Things
More often than not, this annoying, intolerable crying-type sound can be attributed to one – or a combination of – the following:
- Loose, slipped, or frayed blower belts. If the belt has frayed, it needs to be replaced).
- Dry shaft bearings which need oiling up.
- A damaged, broken, or malfunctioning blower motor.
You Heard: Anything Remotely Like These Sounds
It Means: You Should Contact Us
You may want to open your furnace and take a look at what’s going on. BUT, it’s highly advised that you don’t. There are electrical and gaseous elements inside, which can make the problem worse or potentially injure you.
Instead, you should contact us and tell us what you hear. We’ll get back to you ASAP to learn more about your situation.
Finally, if you think it’s something serious, don’t wait. Call for emergency service now.