If you’ve had your furnace even just a couple of years, you’re likely well acquainted with what it sounds like when it is operating. So, if it starts to make loud or unusual sounds during its operation, it’s a good indication that something is amiss. You should call on a pro to examine your furnace and ensure that everything is working effectively and efficiently.
What kind of noises are we referring to? Read on as we uncover some of the most common sounds that warrant a call to our team.
If you are using a gas-powered furnace and it is making a loud booming sound every time it starts up, then you’re likely experiencing a problem with delayed system ignition. Gas burner assemblies generally suffer from carbon buildup over time as a natural byproduct of combustion.
This is something that is checked and cleaned during your heating maintenance appointment, but if you skipped that service this year or suspect it wasn’t done thoroughly, this could very well be what you’re dealing with.
As the carbon buildup increases, it can partially block the jets in the burner assembly. Once these jets become clogged up enough they’ll have trouble igniting when they’re supposed to. The jets will finally ignite later than the rest of the assembly, and burn through the excess gas all at once. This is what caused the loud booming sound.
This problem can wind up being a dangerous one, as each time this booming occurs, it rattles the heat exchanger in your system. If you have an older furnace, the risk for a cracked heat exchanger is there—which can and will allow harmful carbon monoxide gas to leak into your home.
Your furnace contains a component called an air handler, which is designed to circulate air through the ductwork while the system is operating. Inside this air handler’s motor are a number of oiled bearings that help the system run as smoothly as possible. These bearings do not last forever, though!
As the bearings wear down over the years, the friction on the air handler motor will increase until it starts to make a grinding sound while the furnace is running. If you hear this happening, you should make sure to call for repairs as soon as you can. If the bearings fail completely, the air handler motor could overheat and burnout.
Short-cycling is the name given to the process where a furnace turns off and on in rapid succession. If you have a brand new furnace that’s always done this, then we, unfortunately, have to tell you that your furnace wasn’t correctly sized for your living space. There’s not a lot you can do about this problem except either expect a shortened system lifespan or face a premature replacement.
Improper installation is not the only cause of short-cycling though. It could also happen if your furnace overheats, or if it experiences an electrical problem that’s throwing off its operating rhythm. This system will start, run for a couple of minutes, then shut off without every completing a full heating cycle.
The best thing you can do if you notice short-cycling is give our team a call right away!