Why is My Furnace Making a Strange Noise?

Heater Noises blog post“My heater is making a strange noise. Why?”

The weather is bearable all-year round in Los Angeles, CA. However, we do get some winters that requires turning on the heat. If you have a furnace, you don’t want it failing during those winters when it needs to be on. Hearing a noise from the furnace might be a warning sign for trouble. Anything that sounds out of the ordinary needs attention and should be looked at by professionals as it may be a major issue.

Here are some common noises you may hear, a possible cause, and a suggested repair:

  • Squealing – Could be a worn out or slipping blower belt. Check the tension of the belt or replace it if it’s worn or cracked. Also, bearings to the motor shaft may have worn down or need lubrication.
  • Rumbling – Often caused by poorly adjusted pilot light or dirty gas burners. This problem involves dealing with gas and should be dealt with by an expert.
  • Buzzing – Caused by the blower mounts coming loose. Try tightening the mounting screws or using shims to fill in gaps.
  • Hissing – Possible air leak. If this is to happen, turn off the gas and immediately call an expert. Gas is odorless, colorless, and extremely dangerous.
  • Ticking – Possibly a leaking gas valve. Call a professional to deal with the issue.
  • Rattling – Could be a dirty fan blade. Clean the fan blade or clean with degreaser.
  • Rattling, grinding, or whining – Could be resistance to airflow that causes the motor to work harder. Check the vents in each room for any obstruction, dirt, or debris.
  • Vibrating – May be loose or cracked seams in the ventilation system. Check the seams and hanger to ensure everything is tight and sealed.

If you have a furnace experiencing any noise, it’s best to call a licensed professional to deal with it. There are many reasons why a heater/furnace would be making noise and aren’t limited to what is stated above. If you have an older furnace, it’s likely that you’ve experienced some of these noises.

Our recommendation is to call a licensed professional rather than working on it yourself. Most noises, we believe, are related to motor failure, shot bearings, and air duct problems.

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