6 Heater Noises and What They Mean

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6 Heating Noises Explained

Heaters are complex machines with moving parts that make noises you may not be familiar with. If you have an older heater, you may hear it making noise more often than not. Newer furnaces can be on the quieter side, however, they still have functions and parts that may sometimes make a noise or two that you didn’t notice before.

Most of the noises your heater makes are common but if you notice something is off, then there may be some cause for concern. In this blog, we’ll give examples of noises that are common and noises that are not so common and explain what they mean so you can know when to ask for help depending on the sound you hear.

1. Popping or Banging

When your heater turns on, noises like popping and banging are normal. There could be a few reasons why heaters make this sound, like dirty burners that need cleaning, or an excessive amount of gas inside the chambers.

If you hear a banging or popping sound when the heater shuts off, it could mean your ductwork is contracting as the metal cools down.

2. Squealing Noises

Squealing can be caused by belts or a lack of lubricant in the shaft bearing of your heater. You may need to replace a belt or bearing, so if you hear this noise, we suggest contacting your local HVAC professional to locate the source of the noise and replace parts if necessary.

3. Clicking Noises

Clicking can be annoying after a while, so it’s pretty hard to miss. Usually, clicking is caused by the ignition or heat exchanger. Here are a few things that can cause clicking:

  • Electrical issues with your heater

  • Worn motor bearings

  • Broken or malfunctioning pilot light

If you hear clicking, we suggest contacting your HVAC company as soon as possible to fix the problem.

4. Gurgling, Dripping, or Splashing

You’re probably wondering how your heater can make a splashing sound? Well, with newer heaters/furnaces that are high-efficiency, you may hear this noise from the fan exhaust from time to time. The fan exhaust creates fumes that produce condensation formed by moisture collected in the air and eventually needs to be drained.

When there’s an excessive amount of condensation, it can cause sounds like gurgling or dripping. These noises don’t always equate to an issue with your heating system, but you can still get the pipes connected to your heater drained, or if they’re clogged, cleaned.

5. Vibrating Noises

One common noise that indicates it’s time for a furnace repair is vibrating noises. Sometimes, when your heater is due for a repair, you’ll hear vibrating or thumping, which is hard to miss. The cause of this could be that your heater has an unbalanced blower wheel.

To resolve this problem, we suggest that you contact a professional to check the balance of your motor inside the furnace. This is usually an easy fix when you have professional help.

6. Rumbling Noises

Rumbling can usually be caused by an issue with the blower wheel in your heater. Other causes could be connected to a faulty burner or a rapid expansion and contraction of your air ducts. While it can be scary at first to hear this sound, it’s actually a common issue that heaters sometimes have since air ducts are made out of metal. Your technician can easily inspect the heater and make any necessary repairs and replacements.

Depend on Dependable Heating & Air Heater Repair Services

Our technicians know all about the crazy sounds heaters make. At Dependable Heating & Air, we use our years of experience to help homeowners with heater repairs on a daily basis. We know that some sounds can be a big concern for you, and suggest you give us a call at (707) 247-2887 when you need a second opinion!
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