Forced-air heating systems consist of many components that make noise during operation, which is expected. You may hear gas ignite, the blower power on and airflow whoosh from the supply outlets. These duct and furnace noises are all part of normal heating operation.
But if you’re hearing new or unusual noises, such as rattling, scrapingor popping, it’s best to do a little sleuthing to prevent a system breakdown.
Rattling and Clamoring
Rattling and clamoring noises are common, and they can cause rattled nerves due to higher energy bills from air leaks in the ductwork. Ducts are generally fabricated from thin sheet metal. When a joint wiggles loose after sealing fails, or perhaps there was no metal tape in the first place, the loose joints knock together. If you can locate the loose joint, which could also be at an air-supply outlet, wrap it with metal tape and it should be fine. (Your energy bills may shrink, too.)
Popping, Banging and Booms
Pops and booms typically indicate more ductwork noises caused by the ducts adjusting to changes in temperature. A loud banging or knocking duct is often the air handler compartment striking the plenum, once the vibration dampener fails.
Scraping, Grinding or Screeching
If you suddenly hear scraping, grinding or screeching, turn off the furnace ASAP. These noises indicate a failing blower motor or bearings that need lubrication. If you feel comfortable, you can check the blower motor for lubrication ports, though not all blower motors require lubrication, and apply oil as needed. If the noise continues, call your HVAC professional.
Huffs and Puffs
Furnaces are quite the workhorses for homeowners in the Chicago and northern suburbs, but they shouldn’t be huffing and puffing. These noises indicate a faulty or corroded gas valve or a corroded heat exchanger. A thorough cleaning by an HVAC pro may do the trick, or a heating repair may be needed.
If you have questions about duct and furnace noises in your Chicago and northern suburbs home, please call the experts at Gartner Heating & Cooling for expert answers.
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