You want your furnace to run quietly in the background, not contribute an obnoxious soundtrack to your winter days. If your furnace starts making loud or unusual sounds, then you should figure out what the problem is as soon as possible. Not only will you find relief from the noise, but you may also protect your safety or improve your system’s efficiency.
Old Air Filter
Most furnaces’ air filters are meant to be changed every few months. Disposable filters become caked with dust and debris, so you have to throw them away and put in fresh ones. Otherwise, your furnace will have a hard time efficiently moving air through the system. This airflow struggle can produce strange noises — most often, a whistling sound.
What to Do
When your furnace starts to whistle, your first step should be to change the air filter. In fact, you should establish a regular schedule for this in hopes of avoiding the problem entirely. Depending on the style of filter that your system uses, you may need to do this once every one to nine months. If swapping out the filter doesn’t resolve the issue, call a furnace professional.
If your furnace is dirty, it may not kick on as readily as it once did. The fuel may build up in the system a bit before the igniter lights. That delay can lead to a loud noise once the ignitor fires. Dirt on either the pilot light or the burners can cause this problem.
What to Do?
The best person to clean the inside of your furnace is a professional HVAC technician. A professional will know how to thoroughly perform the cleaning without risking a gas leak. Cleaning the furnace can take place during a repair visit, but it’s also a standard step in a maintenance appointment. To guard against furnace problems, it’s best to schedule annual furnace maintenance each autumn.
Your furnace’s motor contains moving parts, such as bearings, that work best when they are well-oiled. When the lubricant runs dry, the bearings may produce a squealing sound as the components move past one another.
What to Do?
Your professional furnace technician can determine whether the furnace noises are coming from the motor bearings. If so, the tech will add oil to the system. As with cleaning the pilot light and the burners, this is a step that is often performed during annual furnace tune-ups. By prioritizing yearly maintenance, you may be able to avoid making a repair call for a noisy furnace.
Metal ducts can expand and contract as climate-controlled air moves through them. As the ducts’ size changes, you may hear some small noises now and then. More frequent ductwork sounds, though, could indicate that it’s time to have some work done.
What to Do?
A heating professional can examine your ductwork for signs of a problem. In some cases, there may just be a few loose screws that need to be tightened. In others, it might be best to replace a stretch of the air ducts.
Often, a noisy furnace has a small problem that can be easily and affordably fixed. There are times, though, when furnace sounds indicate that it’s time for a new furnace. Common sources of loud furnace noises include worn-out belts, broken blower motors, and cracked heat exchangers. Expensive repairs, such as those that cost more than 50% of the cost of a new furnace, may prompt you to choose a replacement. Also, a cracked heat exchanger is a safety issue and should always lead to a new furnace.
What to Do?
Once your heating technician diagnoses the source of the sounds, you can discuss whether repair or replacement is best. The pro will equip you with reliable information and allow you to make the final decision.
When your furnace starts making unusual noises, it’s best to consult a professional as soon as possible. In the Stroudsburg area, choose R.J. Groner Inc. for your heating services. In addition to furnace repairs, tune-ups, and installations, we also work with air conditioners. We have experience with heat pumps, geothermal systems, ductless AC, and radiant floor heating as well. You can count on us to help with your ductwork, indoor air quality, and thermostat too. We even have plumbing expertise, so you can rely on us for pipe repair and water heater replacement.
Make a call to R.J. Groner Inc. for your appointment for home services in Stroudsburg.