“My Furnace is Making a Funny Noise…”

Your furnace works hard. All alone, tucked away in the back of your basement, it steadily generates the heat your family relies on to get through the winter safely and comfortably. And while it’s mostly out of sight and out of mind, the low rumble at night and a whisper coming out of your vents lets you know that your heating system’s got your back, no matter how cold it gets outside.

But sometimes when a furnace starts to wear down or suffers a mechanical fault, the noises that the unit makes will sound unfamiliar and concerning. Expert furnace repair technicians, like those here at Baumann & Degroot, can generally recognize these noises and use them to help narrow down and diagnose the problem. 

These sounds, and their causes, may include: 

Thumping

A rhythmic thumping noise during operation —similar to what you might hear from a lop-sided load in a washing machine—can mean the blower wheel is unbalanced, or the motor has come out of alignment. Fortunately, an unbalanced blower wheel is a relatively affordable fix, just make sure you get it looked at soon as possible.  Long term unbalanced operation can lead to more components being damaged such as the housing, and motor post.

Squealing

Mechanical squealing is generally caused when parts (bearings or belt, often) are contacting without the proper lubrication. Not only is squealing annoying to listen to, but it can indicate dangerous friction wearing down and causing damage to vital components inside your furnace system.  Most motors have sealed bearings today, if there is a squeal it likely means the motor is due for replacement.

Booming

You’ll often notice a sort of whoosh when your furnace switches on, and this is completely normal. But loud booming noises aren’t normal, and may indicate a burner has become blocked up with carbon deposits. The best way to remove these is with a routine, annual furnace inspection and tune up, which will improve performance and keep your furnace running quietly and smoothly. Other causes of booming can be your ductwork buckling with the change in air pressure in the ducts once the blower motor engages or shuts down.  Many times this can be alleviated by changing the air filter.

And Others!

If you’ve been hearing something strange coming from the basement or you’ve noticed rising utility costs and a drop in heating efficiency, it’s time for a checkup. Call the heating and cooling experts here at Baumann & Degroot for help diagnosing and repairing any and all furnace issues you may experience—including all weird sounds and funny noises. 

Trust us, we’ve heard it all before!

Chad Baumann
Sales & Marketing Manager
Residential comfort expert. Recognized nationally as a top 40 under 40 in the HVAC industry. 10 years of experience in the HVAC field.