What’s That Noise Coming from my Furnace?

Noise-Coming-from-my-FurnaceAs we move into fall and our heating equipment gets more active, we might wonder what sounds coming from the furnace are normal and which should not be ignored.

A subtle clicking sound that starts your oil burner, followed by the droning hum of the furnace and eventual whirr of the fan sending heated air through duct-work sounds like a normal oil furnace doing its job to keep your home warm and comfortable.

But what if you hear loud unusual sounds coming from your furnace room?  There are some sounds that should not be taken lightly and should be investigated immediately.

Squealing/Screeching – When these sounds start to come from your furnace, they can mean your motor bearings are bad or need to be lubricated.  They could also be an indication that a belt is worn or slipping.  If this sound continues, your motor or blower could fail, causing more extensive and expensive repairs.

Grinding – If you hear a metal-on-metal grinding sound, you could have a blower fan issue, possibly the result of the fan blades contacting the blower casing.  Again, if this sound continues without attention, the blower motor can be affected and may ultimately need replacement.

Whistling – This is often the sound that emanates from air passing through small holes or gaps in duct-work.  This can usually be repaired inexpensively by tightening loose screws or with duct tape.  Whistling can also result from a clogged air filter.  If that occurs, the filter should be replaced before it puts too much strain on the blower motor.

Bangs – If you hear a bang when the furnace turns on, it could be the burner misfiring. The burner timing could be off or a part is not functioning properly. A qualified technician should look at this. Another reason for a bang could be related to a cracked heat exchanger.  This issue can lead to carbon monoxide leaks, which are dangerous and need immediate attention.

Snapping/Expansion sound – If you hear snapping or cracking once the furnace is on and working, it could be the result of the expansion and contraction of air ducts or the metal in your radiators. Generally, these are normal noises and will stop once the duct work or radiators have warmed up.

Gurgling – If there is air trapped in your water heating pipes, you will hear a gurgling or a sound like water rushing thru the pipes. Most systems have air bleeders built in to remove any excess air. However, if this continues or causes a radiator to not heat, a qualified technician should be called to look at the issue.

Your oil heating system is an integral part of your home and needs to be in top condition to safely keep you and your family healthy and comfortable.  If you aware of any sounds that don’t seem right to you, an immediate call to a qualified service technician is the proper thing to do.

At Scotia Fuels, we have our customers’ backs.  We have a team of expert service technicians on call 24 hours a day, 365 days of the year. If you notice anything unusual about your heating equipment, please call us at 902-453-2121 for emergency service.  We’ll answer your call within 2 rings, and we’ll make sure a service technician gets in touch with you right away.