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Here’s how to troubleshoot strange furnace sounds or noisy furnace ducts

All HVAC systems, to a degree, make noise while operating. However, how do you know if these noises are normal or an indicator that something is wrong? If you’re hearing strange furnace sounds or experiencing noisy furnace ducts, it could be either business as usual or a sign of trouble. In this article, we’ll review the wide variety of sounds that your furnace and air ducts can make, and which ones should lead to you giving us a call for furnace repair here in Buffalo and Western New York.

Start by ruling out potential furnace problems

Before you start thinking about what sounds are coming from your ducts, you’ll want to rule out that the sounds are coming from your furnace. There are several different furnace sounds that signal potential trouble. Here’s why you need to keep an ear out for popping, screeching, and rattling.

For help diagnosing noisy furnace ducts in your home, call the professionals at Reimer.

For help diagnosing noisy furnace ducts in your home, call the professionals at Reimer.

Popping Sounds

The sound of a loud “pop” coming from the furnace could be a sign that the furnace is igniting too much gas in the combustion chamber. In most cases, the root cause of this issue is a defective gas valve or dirty burners. Basically, what you’re hearing is a (small) explosion inside of the furnace.

This is something that you’ll want to get checked out by a gas furnace professional. Eventually, the furnace flame sensor—a safety mechanism that checks for the presence of a flame to ignite the gas—may kick in, shutting down your furnace.

Screeching Sounds

A loud screeching sound is not a natural part of a furnace’s cycle. It’s probably an issue with the blower fan’s belt. As these belts age and wear, they begin to fray and cause strange sounds. If you’re hearing a distinctive screech coming from your furnace, it’s probably not something you want to ignore for too long. Call our team and have us out to inspect the system.

Rattling Sounds

Chances are that you do not have a rattlesnake in your furnace, so the likely culprit of a rattle is something that is loose. The furnace produces a harmless low-frequency hum while in operation. Anything that’s loose—from screws and components to the heat exchanger itself—could start rattling from this natural vibration. Again, this is something you’ll want one of our technicians to help you diagnose. The rattling of a loose part is typically an early warning for an impending breakdown.

Diagnosing the sounds made by noisy furnace ducts

Now that you’ve eliminated the possibility that the noise could be generated by your furnace, it’s time to turn your attention to your ducts. Here are some of the most common sounds made by noisy furnace ducts while your heater is running.

Banging Sounds

Once you’ve ruled out the sound coming from the furnace itself, the next likely explanation of a loud popping or banging sound is the ducts. As hot air enters a cold duct, the metal expands and warps in response to the sudden temperature change. This leads to the metal “banging” as it shifts into place. This same phenomenon occurs when a duct, once filled with hot air, cools down after the furnace has been shut off. This sound is pretty harmless, and it’s natural to hear it whenever your furnace turns on or off.

Rattling Sounds

The rattling noise is most often caused by loose metal ducts that tend to knock against one another. This could be a sign that your ducts have leaks or gaps between them, which will ultimately have a negative impact on the performance and efficiency of your heating system. As ducts age, the connective sealing between them begins to deteriorate or loosen. This isn’t going to cause a breakdown or anything, but it’s still worth having a Reimer technician look into this winter.

Vibrating Sounds

A sound of vibrating or shacking of the duct walls normally occurs due to the blockage of the return side airflow. This usually happens due to a clogged filter that results in a drop in the air pressure that makes the duct walls vibrate and shake.

Booming Sounds

A loud booming noise coming from the ducts typically emanates from the plenum where all the ducts meet. This connecting point tends to endure the greatest swings in temperature. Inadequate expansion of joints or dampers contributes to the noise. What you’re hearing is a loud boom echoing through the supply ducts.

Whistling Sounds

In some cases, you can hear a whistling or rumbling noise emanating from the ductwork. The whistling noise is normally caused due to excessive airflow through the ducts. On the other hand, the rumbling noise could be due to pressure differences between the supply and the return ducts.

Call Reimer to have our team diagnose noisy furnace ducts

When it comes time to care for your furnace or your ducts, make sure that you hire an experienced and licensed furnace technician. An experienced technician will expertly identify and resolve all kinds of furnace problems due to which you can spend the entire winter months in total comfort and warmth.

At Reimer Home Services, our experienced techs are ready to assist you with diagnosing strange furnace noises and the source of noisy furnace ducts. Contact us today to schedule service here in Buffalo and Western New York.

Here are 5 signs that your home needs AC unit repairs

In many cases, you know when you need air conditioning repair because your AC system simply stops functioning. It’s not always that easy, however. Here are five other warning signs that you need to have a professional from Reimer inspect your air conditioner prior to the situation getting worse.

Pictured: A Reimer tech talking to a customer about AC unit repairs.#1. Your air conditioning system isn’t generating cold air

This is often what prompts homeowners to pick up the phone and dial Reimer for AC unit repairs. When your air conditioner isn’t generating cold air, it’s not cooling down your home, and the heat and humidity becomes noticeable, if not downright uncomfortable. However, it’s important to note that your air conditioner can be still be broken, even if it’s emitting cold air. In fact, you might not find out there’s a problem until…

#2. Your cooling bills are out of control

Your air conditioning is working just fine. You skipped the tune-up this year, and went straight into summer with the system in the same state it was in last year. Then, you open your monthly energy bill. We sure hope you were sitting down before you did, because the ultimate total is faint-inducing.

An AC system may be broken in a way that causes it to work harder to emit less and less cooling over time. If you find that your energy bills have spiked, call an AC repair specialist and have them look over your system.

#3. Your air conditioning unit is making sounds that it shouldn’t

You’ll know it when you hear it. Maybe your air conditioning system is making all the usual noises, but is louder than usual. Or, perhaps, it’s emitting a metallic screeching or a grinding sound. If you hear any of these noises coming from your air conditioning unit, you should call Reimer Home Services and have them send a technician out to diagnose the problem. Metal-on-metal scraping might be a sign that something is look or interfering with the fan. Besides the annoying noise, such a problem would lead to major air conditioning repair needs down the road—if not the total replacement of the system.

#4. Moisture is inside your ducts

Your air conditioning system is meant to handle a degree of moisture: after all, it’s outside, and rain can fall on it and inside of it, to a degree. However, you shouldn’t have moisture coming from the ducts inside of your home. If you do, it might indicate a number of problems. Call the experts at Reimer immediately. While it might be water or condensation from a nearby pipe, the water might not be water, but leaked AC coolant from the system. This liquid is toxic, and you’ll want to have us clean it up to ensure you and your family’s safety.

#5. Your unit is emitting strange smells

If you’re smelling a foul, metallic smell, that may be an indicator that your AC’s wire insulation has been burned through. In contrast, a musty smell might indicate that mold is growing inside of your AC system or in your ducts. Either way, a call to Reimer Home Services is the only way to know for sure.

Call Reimer for AC unit repairs this summer

Reimer Home Services is western New York’s source for quality customer service and incredible air conditioning repair. Whether you need AC unit repairs, a tune-up, or installation, call Reimer to schedule your appointment today.