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Why Heaters Go Bump in the Night

What’re Those Spooky Sounds Coming from the Furnace? 

Everyone knows the cling, clang, or gurgling noise that creeps up from the basement every so often. While always unsettling, it’s certainly a little more frightening during this time of year. Several, if not all, noises that come from the furnace are nothing spooky at all, but they may require some assistance from professionals. Below are three very common noises that come from furnaces when there is an issue. 

Unexplained Scraping or Grinding 

This unsettling noise is a good indication that something is off. If the sounds of scraping or grinding are coming from the furnace, a professional should be called to inspect the blower motor. These noises could indicate worn bearings or that a blower motor is failing. Some specific issues that may be causing the grinding are that the blower wheel is loose or broken, or that the mount motor is broken. 

It is possible that the motor needs lubricant so that should be attempted first. If noises persist, though, do not waste time, turn off your furnace, and call a professional to prevent further damage and costly repairs. 

Spooky Banging Noises

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If a banging noise is heard from the furnace, it is likely due to one or both of the following reasons:

  1. Dirty gas burners: This is often characterized by a delay in heating after it’s turned on followed by banging as it ignites. This is called delayed ignition and the loud bangs are mini explosions which could lead to a crack in the heat exchanger. Call a professional about this quickly as it can be quite costly to repair if ignored for too long. 
  2. Air duct issues: Specifically, the banging heard is from expanding air ducts while the furnace blower turns on. The reason for this could be undersized or flimsy ducts, closed vents, or a dirty air filter. This is also a reason to call a professional to determine the cause and solve the problem appropriately. 

Haunting Screeching

Another unnerving sound from the furnace could be screeching as the heater turns on. While not a sound to ignore, it is often simple to fix. The following two reasons are the most common for this noise:

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  1. Dry motor bearings: The reason for the screeching could be the blower motor bearings indicating that they need more lubricant. As the lubricant loses its effect over time, it can cause the bearings to seize up and fail. 
  2. Blower wheel issues: Another potential cause of the screeching could be from the blower wheel. If the blower wheel is out of balance, it will cause noise and vibration, while potentially ruining the bearings on the motor. The screeching is from metal grinding against each other. 

Both causes require professional assistance to ensure there aren’t any other serious issues and to ensure the fix is done properly. To maintain furnaces, it is important to keep up with regular furnace maintenance such as annual tune-ups

About Lambert Plumbing & Heating, LTD

Lambert Plumbing & Heating, LTD has been serving the Vancouver, BC area for over 40 years and prides itself on being available 24/7. Any problems with household plumbing, AC, or furnace can be fixed by Lambert Plumbing & Heating, LTD. Contact them for furnace repair services in Vancouver today!