6 Strange Furnace Sounds and What they Mean

The temperatures are dipping in Santa Rosa and that means it’s officially furnace season. Around this time of year, we often hear complaints from homeowners are strange furnace sounds. Though a few noises can sound scary, some are actually normal. However, there are some furnace sounds that mean it’s time to schedule an appointment as soon as possible. Because of this, we’re sharing six strange furnace sounds and what they mean.

Is That a Scraping Sound Coming from Your Furnace?

Have you ever heard a metal scraping sound coming from your furnace? If so, now is not the time to ignore the sound, it’s time to immediately schedule an appointment with an HVAC technician. A scraping noise can usually be attributed to two things, neither of which are good.
If you hear a scraping coming from your furnace, it could either be a broken motor mount of a broken blower wheel. A broken motor mount could mean your blower wheel is tumbling all over your furnace. If your blower wheel is broken, it means that the wheel is scraping all over other metal parts. Both these problems could mean major damage to your entire system.

Have you Heard a Wheezing Sound?

If you wake up alone at night an hear a wheezing sound, don’t be alarmed. It’s your furnace. If you can’t remember the last time you changed your air filter, a wheezing or whooshing noise could indicate your filter is full and needs to be replaced. The air filter’s main function is to catch dust, dander, and other particles out of treated air. Over time, filters get full and need to be replaced. If a filter is too full, you can hear a wheezing noise. Which is just the sound of treated air trying to make it through the full air filter.

What About Banging, Booming, or Popping?

Do you ever hear a banging, booming or popping sound when your furnace first turns on? If so, it could be that your furnace burner is dirty. It’s easy for dust, dirt, and other organic matter to get into your furnace—especially if it’s in the attic. This organic matter can cause gas to buildup. Because of this, the furnace can make a popping noise when the flame ignites. Another reason for banging, booming, or popping could be metal ductwork. If your home has metal ductwork, the ducts will expand and contract when the temperature changes, which is completely normal and nothing to worry about.

Is that Pinging Sound from Your Furnace?

Does your furnace ever make a ping, ping, ping noise? If so, it’s normal and nothing to concern yourself with. As we mentioned above, ductwork will expand and contract with temperature changes. As the furnace goes on and off, your ductwork will move with it, causing the pinging noise.

Why is My Furnace is Whining or Squealing?

Sometimes, a high pitched squeal can come from your furnace. We’re here to tell you it’s not an animal, but a belt. All furnaces have a blower belt. With enough wear and tear the belt can become misaligned, worn out, or need lubrication. If you hear this noise, ask a tech during a tune-up and they should be able to address it for you.

Is That Crackling Sound Bad?

Believe it or not, a cracking sound from your heater is normal and nothing to worry about. After a heating cycle, heated metal in your ductwork and your furnace can make a crackling noise as it cools down and turns off.

Hearing Any of These Sounds from Your Furnace?

If the answer is yes, it’s time to call Moore Home Services. Our expert HVAC technicians can figure out what’s causing almost any sound and will find a solution for your home. Our thoroughly trained technicians are ready to answer the calls of our Santa Rosa, Sonoma County, and North Bay communities. To schedule an appointment, click here or call the number at the top of the screen.