Like any other home appliance, a furnace develops issues over time. You should know the signs of a failing furnace so you can create a repair schedule before your unit fails and leaves you in the cold.
A furnace is noisy, and you can tell of its overall health if you listen to the sounds it produces. While some noises are natural (such as rattling sounds after a cooling cycle), others indicate underlying issues that you should not ignore.
Act promptly and call a heating repair professional when you notice the following abnormal noises from your furnace.
- Booming or Banging Noise
A booming or banging noise is easily noticeable and is often a surefire sign of a failing furnace. If your furnace has undersized metal ducts, the ducts expand as pressurized air passes through and contract after the pressure drops. As a result, you will notice banging noises every time your turn the furnace on or off.
A booming sound is typical in old furnace models and normally occurs when the furnace kicks on. The sound is a result of delayed gas ignition due to a poor air-to-gas ratio. Another likely culprit for delayed ignition is faulty, dirty, or clogged burner ports. If you notice a booming noise and a gas odor to boot, you should call a qualified technician to assess the problem further.
2. Squealing Noise
A squealing furnace may have belt or fan motor issues. First, check the belt for any worn-out signs like cracks or frayed edges. Also, check the tension of the belt. A loose belt wears out faster and results in uncomfortable noises. On the other hand, an overly tight belt can damage both the bearings and motor. Your technician can tighten the belt to achieve the correct belt tension.
Also, check the bearings. Bearings can get noisy due to insufficient lubrication, the use of the wrong lubricants, or loose bearings that need repacking. A thorough inspection by an expert can establish the cause of the squealing noise and the proper solutions for the problem.
3. Rattling Noise
A furnace produces a relatively quiet rattling sound during normal operation. However, if the rattling sound gets louder and doesn't subside, your furnace may be about to fail. The rattling noise may be due to loose bolts in the access hatch.
Dirty burners also result in a rattling noise as they struggle to ignite. Remember that burners connect to the gas line, and a slight rookie repair mistake can be disastrous. A specialized technician can safely extract the burner and clean it up to restore proper furnace efficiency.
If your furnace makes any of these noises, contact a professional immediately before your unit fails. Also, keep up with preventative maintenance to maintain your furnace and in good working condition for longer.