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Furnace Noises: What is Normal and What is Cause for Concern

We’re getting close to the official start of the winter season. In the HVAC business that means we are gearing up for a lot of work on furnaces! It may not be too exciting to you, but your furnace is something you should know about and understand. It’s estimated that Pennsylvania households dedicate an astonishing 50% of their energy use towards space heating! You may not have realized just how high that number is, but it should put into perspective just how important your furnace is and how much you can potentially save with smart habits.

Today, we want to help you keep your furnace going for the long haul by letting you know what furnace sounds you should be worried about and which ones you can let be.

What Should Your Furnace Sound Like?

The average furnace can be somewhat noisy. You may hear a hum or rattle while it’s running. If you’re up close the occasional crackle isn’t much cause for concern. If you hear a concerning sound, but it only happens one time, it may be something as simple as your air ducts expanding on contracting from the temperature change. Strange noises start to become a lot more concerning when they recur often.

What Noises to Listen Out For?

As we mentioned earlier, home heating makes up about half of the energy cost of the average Pennsylvanian household. For some, that total can reach over $1,000. If you have an inefficient unit, it will be even worse. Part of keeping your system’s efficiency up is catching problems before they can do too much damage to your furnace.

We diagnose furnace problems in a variety of ways, and listening to your furnace is actually an important and simple way to get a sense of the health of your unit. The average homeowner should listen out for these strange furnace noises.

  • Screeching is a sign that there is an issue with your fan belt or a bearing. Remember your furnace is a machine with moving parts. It should move together smoothly for optimal results.

  • Booming is a sign that you may have a combustion issue. While contracting and expanding air ducts can make a small booming noise, a louder persistent boom when you switch on the furnace indicated that the burners may be having trouble.

  • A rumbling noise is a sign of a combustion issue. We’ve seen fuel continue to burn even after the unit should be shut off due to leaks. A situation like this results in a rumbling noise that is audible throughout the house. Due to the dangerous nature of gas leaks and carbon monoxide poisoning, it is vital to get this noise checked out as soon as possible.

What Should You Do If You Suspect Something is Wrong with Your Furnace?

HVAC problems typically require a bit of urgency. In the colder months, Pennsylvanians rely on their heating systems to keep them warm. This is why it’s important to listen out for potential problems with your furnace and to act on them quickly if you find out something is wrong. Our local pros have seen just about every HVAC and furnace problem there is to see. We’d love to help you get to the bottom of the strange noises your furnace is making and fix the underlying issue!

Essig Plumbing & Heating is here as an essential business for the community during this time. Feel free to give us a call at (610) 557-3302 or fill out an online contact form to set up an appointment for any of your plumbing or HVAC needs.