Once I purchased my first home, I realized that I needed to do my part in caring for my home appliances. In addition to reading the user manuals for my kitchen appliances and state-of-the-art plumbing system, I realized that I also needed to do a little research about HVAC. Because I had no experience with HVAC systems, I called out a professional to teach me a thing or two. It was fascinating to talk with him, and I was able to take notes about all kinds of important topics, such as maintenance, troubleshooting, and even shopping for a new system. This blog is all about understanding HVAC guidelines.
Turning on your furnace for the first time each winter should be relatively uneventful if you keep it properly maintained. This is why any out of the ordinary noises can be a major cause for concern. Know the most common noises and what causes them so you can properly troubleshoot the problem.
Noise #1: Loud bangs or pops
The severity of this issue depends on when the bang occurs. If it bangs shortly after the furnace cycles off, the issue is probably the basic expanding and contracting of ducts as they heat and then cool back down. You may want to have the ducts inspected, but there is typically no need for concern.
Banging when the furnace cycles on is more severe. This occurs in gas or oil fueled furnaces that utilize a burner. When the burner begins to fail, it heats more slowly. This leads to a build up of fuel. Then, when the burner is finally able to combust the fuel, it bangs because there is too much. This can eventually become a safety hazard, so a prompt repair is necessary.
Noise #2: Rattling
Rattles, clicks, and other small but persistent noises can come from a variety of causes. The least concerning are loose fittings or debris inside the fan or motor housing. A regular tuneup and cleaning call can fix these problems.
You don't want to put off the call, though, since sometimes a more major problem is the culprit behind the rattling. A loose or broken fan blade will sometimes rattle or click. If it gives out completely, you will then have no heat blowing through the vents. In some cases, the fuel ignition is failing, which causes it to click several times as it struggles to ignite the fuel. Only a full inspection can pinpoint the exact cause.
Noise #3: Squealing
There are several moving parts that can squeal in the furnace. Most furnaces have one or more belts inside them, which may squeal as they start to go out. Replacement is a basic maintenance task and not a big deal. In other cases, your furnace may be overdue for maintenance and a moving part simply needs lubricated.
When the squealing comes from the fan motor housing, then you may have a larger repair on your hands. This is because the motor must either be repaired or replaced.
For more help, contact an HVAC professional in your area.