A noisy furnace can be a real pain, and the feeling of helplessness you can get if it starts outside of your repair company's business hours isn't fun either. But even if you're not an expert on furnaces, you should be able to analyze the sound and figure out if it's something you can fix yourself (like rattling from loose ductwork, which can often be fixed with duct tape or cork padding) or a more serious problem. Here are three sounds that may indicate your furnace has a serious problem and needs professional help.
If you hear a bang or boom when your furnace first starts up, it can be an indication of a serious problem: a delayed ignition. This is bad because when ignition is delayed it generally causes a small explosion as soon as it finally does happen (that's the bang you hear). One of these small bangs probably won't irreparably damage anything, but you should get your furnace serviced before you turn it on again because a series of explosions, as you can imagine, will harm the interior of your furnace.
A whooshing or whistling sound can mean the air filter is clogged, but if you've checked and this is not the case, it may indicate that you have a problem with the ducts. There may be a hole in the duct near the furnace, or you may simply have ducts that are too small for the size of your furnace. If the ducts are too small, you'll need professional help to remedy the situation. Fortunately, however, it's not an emergency, annoying though it may be.
3. Abnormal motor sounds
If your furnace's motor has recently become noisier, you should probably be concerned. It could be a sign that the bearings are shot. When this happens, an increase in the motor noise occurs (just like in your car when one of the wheel bearings is going bad). There are several other motor problems that can make the motor noisier as well, but in the best-case scenario your technician may discover that the excess noise was caused simply by rattling, which is a very easy fix.
As you can imagine, calling up a repair technician is a must whenever your furnace has a problem more serious than rattling ductwork. Neglecting a furnace problem not only puts you in danger of a serious heating malfunction but can also mean that the repair costs increase, because many problems get worse when ignored. Consider contact a local specialist, such as Anytime Plumbing Services, if your furnace is making strange or abnormal noises, or if you have any other concerns.