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Common Furnace Warning Sounds

Ears cupped

Your furnace works hard every day to keep your family save and warm – and it usually does its job without complaint. But sometimes it actually does complain – and if you’re an attentive enough listener, you can hear the warning sounds of a furnace that needs service or replacement.

What are some of the common noises your furnace – and what do they mean for your equipment? Let’s take a look (or listen).

  • Knocking – Knocking often indicates that air has gotten into the lines. To fix the problem, you will have to “bleed” your heating system – a job usually handled by professionals.
  • Clattering – Clattering may indicate a problem with the furnace’s access panels, which can occasionally come loose. Inspect the panels and tighten as needed.
  • Rumbling – Rumbling could indicate that a pilot light has been set incorrectly, or that you have a dirty gas burner. Try resetting the pilot light by following manufacturer’s instructions. If you have a dirty burner, call for service.
  • Whistling – Whistling often indicates a clogged filter. Replace the filter rather than trying to clean it — and do it often (check it once a month, replacing as needed).
  • Screeching/squealing – A high-pitched squeal often indicates a problem with a belt or blower motor; call for professional service.
  • Grinding – If you hear grinding sounds, shut down your furnace immediately – they usually indicate a significant problem, most often with the unit’s motor bearings. If a repair is possible, it will have to be done by heating system repair professionals – if it isn’t, it’s time for a heating system upgrade.

A furnace may also make intermittent sounds as it turns itself on and off. Check your heating system’s air filter – if it looks okay, check your fuel levels. If you need a heating oil delivery, let us know.

For professional heating system service and repairs for your Massachusetts home, contact the pros at Needham Oil & Air today!