Four Sounds You Don't Want To Hear From Your Furnace

Despite the fact that furnaces provide a valuable service to your home, they operate almost completely without our knowledge. Outside of a gentle clicking sound as the unit turns on and off, the only sound you should ever hear coming from your furnace is a gentle hum as the wind passes through your air vents.

It goes without saying then, that if your heating system is making any one of the four sounds listed below, you have a problem on your hands. Contact an HVAC company and schedule a heating repair service as soon as you can before the situation turns serious.


As mentioned above, a single clicking sound is completely normal. However, a continuous clicking sound that happens while the system should be in operation means that your furnace is having a hard time turning over and staying on. While the clicking sound is annoying, the real damage is what can happen to your heating system: over time, that continually attempted ignition will cause premature wear and tear on your unit and cause it to deteriorate rapidly. If left unchecked long enough, you'll be paying for a new heating installation soon enough.


A loud, high-pitched whining sound that comes from your air vents can mean only one thing: your fan belt. Although the fan belt isn't that expensive of a part, accessing the compartment where your fan belt is can be a real challenge, so this is one job that you'll need a professional to help you with. If it snaps, your motor and everything else in your system may be operating perfectly, but there won't be any force pushing the hot air throughout your house, rendering it useless.


If your air vents sound like a can of BBs, that usually means that you have pieces broken off inside your air vents and are rattling around. This could be either a bolt that has fallen off the connection point, or it could be a piece of metal that is chipped off your fan blade and is banging around inside the air vents. Either way, these parts either need to be removed or reattached before they cause serious internal damage to your system. Early detection is key here, so soon as you hear this sound, contact a heating technician as soon as you can.


If the metal-on-metal sound is more severe, such as a loud scratching sound, chances are one of your fan blades has shaken loose and is scratching the inside of your system as it rotates. Not only can this cause severe damage to the inside of the unit, but it can also cause sparks to shoot throughout your air vents, possibly posing other hazards as well. Get it checked out, and have the system fixed if necessary.

For more information on how to troubleshoot your heating system, talk to a HVAC professional today.