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Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing Blog

5 Furnace Noises and What They Mean


Having to wait for furnace repair—or worse, furnace replacement—in the middle of winter can be pretty miserable. Now is the perfect time of year to think about what your furnace might need in order to be in good shape for next winter. If you’ve got concerns about how your furnace was performing, it was probably making some unusual noises. Here’s a guide to what those sounds might indicate.

1: Rumbling

This definitely means your furnace isn’t completely content, but it’s not a terrible sound to hear. It’s often made by a dirty burner. This component is cleaned during furnace maintenance. If that’s the only issue you had with your furnace over the past winter, just make sure to have maintenance done before you start it up again in the fall.

2: Groaning

Did your furnace sound like it was complaining of an achy back or a too-heavy workload? It could be that the motor bearings are wearing down. These can be replaced, but make sure to do it before you rely on your furnace again. If it keeps operating like that, you may need to replace the whole motor.

3: Squealing

Most furnaces have a belt that connects the motor to the fan. If it’s slipping out of place, stretching, or tearing, it can make quite a terrible sound! The belt is an inexpensive part to replace, but there are other components that can be damaged if it breaks completely or comes free. Be sure to get furnace repair in Santa Fe, NM before a small problem becomes a big one.

4: Booming

If you have a gas furnace, when the thermostat calls for heat it should come on relatively promptly and quietly. If there’s a delay followed by a soft whoosh and then a boom, your furnace has an ignition problem.

There are a few things that could be causing it, but the bottom line is that there’s a lag between the release of the gas and the spark, allowing too much gas to build up before it ignites. A technician can diagnose the exact cause and get it repaired.

5: Clicking

This sound could be something very small and innocent, like a loose screw allowing one component to tap against another. But it can also be the first warning sign of an extremely serious problem: a crack in the heat exchanger.

Since this component separates the combustion gasses from the air of your home, a crack can lead to escaped CO and the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. Do not turn your furnace on again until it has been thoroughly checked by a technician.

The most important tip we can offer is to trust your gut, and when you’re worried that something is wrong, get in touch with a professional. If you need help sorting out what will be covered by regular maintenance, whether you need furnace repairs, or when it might be time to replace your furnace, we would be delighted to help you answer those questions.

Contact Roadrunner Air Conditioning, Heating, & Plumbing to speak with a member of our team.

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