In the world of furnace repair, there is little more alarming, both for a homeowner and for a professional, than odd furnace sounds. An unsettling clank or bang can be a huge sign of something wrong and is often the precursor to some serious repair, if not a total furnace replacement! Furnace noises are something you should never ignore and our experts are here to tell you why.

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Furnace Sounds to Listen For

Generally speaking, you should never ignore any furnace noises. Why? Because they almost always indicate component damage in some form or another. This is a huge problem because loose or damaged parts in your system very often and very quickly lead to more damage as the components bang around and force other systems to fail. Left alone for too long, and you might end up with a totally dead furnace in a really short amount of time.

Keep an ear out for these warning sounds:

  • Clanks, bangs, and rattles. These are almost always a loose or damaged moving part in your furnace system. The noise you’re hearing is the damaged part literally clacking into other areas in your furnace, and you can imagine the kind of damage this can do in a short time. It’s best to shut off the furnace entirely and seek immediate repair.
  • Squealing, squeaking, and screeches. These often relate to your motor—a belt or fan in need of service. Out of all of the sounds you can encounter, this is one of the least menacing, as a quick tune-up or maintenance service can solve the problem fairly quickly. Just don’t let it alone for too long!
  • A loud boom. If any sound equates to needing an emergency repair service, it is a loud booming noise. You’re more likely to encounter this when you have an older furnace, and it usually is caused by a delay in the ignition of a gas furnace. This is potentially a serious risk, not only to the furnace, but to you and your home as well.
  • Chirping and repetitive ticks. If you’ve just kicked your furnace on for the first time this season, you might hear a bit of chirping and clicking. Give your system a good hour or two to “warm up” from its hibernation. But if the problem doesn’t fade within a couple hours or so, it’s a good idea to call in a service professional. The problem is probably a simple misaligned fan or belt, but you certainly don’t want the issue to escalate.