Unusual noises coming from your heater are not just annoying; they could be an indication that something is seriously wrong. Heaters make many different sounds, and it’s always a good idea to determine where the noise is coming from to preserve the longevity of your unit. Here are six common noises that your heater might make and what each type might mean for the state of your system.
1. Loud Banging
If you hear a loud banging sound whenever your heater turns on, it could mean a couple of different things. First, the sound could be coming from a weak area within the ductwork. This minor problem can be easily remedied by providing the ductwork with more stability by screwing a thicker piece of metal around the area where you hear the sound.
Second, you may notice that the heater begins to bang whenever you’re walking on the floor above it. In this case, your ducts may be too tight. To fix this problem, you can simply loosen or rehang your ducts.
2. Loud Booming
Unlike other heater sounds that may be minor, the sound of loud booming is cause for serious concern. This sound typically happens when there’s a delay in gas ignition within the unit. When gas builds up inside your heater instead of being ignited as soon as you turn it on, it could create a small explosion inside.
Delayed ignition can cause significant damage to your heater. More importantly, it can also be incredibly dangerous for your home and family. If you hear a loud booming sound coming from your heater, turn it off, and call a professional right away. Always leave gas repairs to the pros.
When a whistling sound is coming from your heater, it may be because something is interfering with airflow. The problem could be a clogged or dirty filter that needs to be replaced, or the sound could be caused by a blocked return, closed vents, or objects lodged inside the ductwork.
You may be able to stop the sound by cleaning your ducts and changing the air filters. If the sound doesn’t go away, schedule an appointment with an HVAC company. Whistling sounds can also be a sign that there’s an issue with the blower or burner.
A squealing sound is often an indication that there’s something wrong with the belt, motor, or bearing. Although the sound might be incredibly annoying, problems that lead to squealing sounds are typically minor. However, that doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t promptly address them. Minor heater issues can quickly turn into major ones if you neglect them.
When a rattling or vibrating sound is coming from your heater, you may be able to make a few basic changes to make the sound go away on your own. These types of sounds often mean that some of the ducts within your system are loosening.
To fix this problem, try to retighten the screws to secure the loose ducts. You can also use duct tape if the screws are missing. If the sound is happening because the heater itself is rattling against the floor, you can try to lift it up enough so you can put a rubber pad underneath.
A chirping sound is quite normal if you haven’t used your heater in a long time. Whenever your unit is warming up, it may start to produce a chirping sound. The sound will probably go away on its own after just a few minutes. If it doesn’t, it may be time to replace a belt.