Now that summer is in full swing, it can be surprising how quickly we adjust the thermostat from giving us a little heat in the morning to take the chill off the house to switching on the air conditioning to combat the afternoon heat. Even if the furnace has been working well throughout the winter, if you start hearing one of these six sounds, you might have a problem and need to contact an HVAC professional before it turns into an even larger repair bill.
A loud scraping noise, like grating metal-on-metal, coming from inside your furnace could be a serious problem with the blower wheel. Maybe the wheel is coming apart from the shaft and scraping the casing, or in some other way the motor is causing the wheel to scrape the casing. Turn off the air conditioning immediately and call an HVAC service company.
Fast Clicking/Flicking Sound
Remember that sound when you were a kid and attached a playing card to the spokes of your bicycle wheel? If you hear that kind of fast thwapping sound from your HVAC, something might be stuck on one of the blower wheel blades or one the housing around the wheel. While your air conditioning (or heat) might be working just fine, this stuck object is causing resistance and it will cause excessive wear on the motor. Get it cleaned up by a furnace technician as soon as you can.
A squealing noise from the blower motor could be caused by a belt wearing out. That’s normally not an expensive repair and best taken care of before the belt stretches further or breaks. (Because later, that WILL be an expensive repair.)
Grinding Or Metal Groaning Sound
A bearing problem in the blower motor will make a dull and repetitive groan. Some blower motors have ports for adding lubricant, but some are sealed. Adding lubricant will often eliminate the groaning sound, but you have to use the correct oil, not WD-40. An HVAC company doing an annual maintenance inspection on your furnace would be best to do this kind of maintenance.
If you hear a rattling sound from your central air conditioning unit outside of the house when the air conditioning is coming on, the hardware around the compressor could be loose. An air conditioning service repair person should be contacted.
Popping Sound Or Banging Sound
If you turn on your air and hear popping sounds or a distinct banging sound (like from a cap gun), the furnace probably has dirty burners that need to be cleaned. The gas is not being ignited right away. Instead, it’s building up and then igniting in a mini-explosion. You’ll want to get this serviced by a professional immediately.
When operating properly, your HVAC system should be fairly quiet. But if you’re hearing one of these six sounds, you really should contact an HVAC professional to come in and repair the problem before it turns into an even bigger problem.