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What Is That Flapping?

Sometimes, you have to cry out for help. It’s normal to reach your breaking point and emit a frightened yelp, and ask someone for assistance. What isn’t normal, though, is when your furnace grumbles, your vents are rattling, and your walls are knocking. When you start hearing strange noises coming from the walls, it is oftentimes a call for help from your HVAC system. While we can’t always hear what you hear, we gathered a couple of our favorite and most common furnace noises, to help you try and diagnose the issue before we head your way!

First and foremost, humming noises are natural when a furnace kicks on. You will hear this soft hum or buzz whenever your system starts up. If the humming noise is unreasonably loud, or transitions into a rumbling noise, you could have loose parts inside the HVAC system. Loud inconsistent humming could signify an electrical short, and requires a professional to repair.

Popping noises are another fun issue we hear about from our customers. They can be a nuisance but they are not an indicator of an issue with your HVAC. These noises are due to the ductwork expanding and compressing as they return to normal temperatures when the furnace stops running. If the popping noises start to drive you over the edge, you can use foam or insulation around the ducts in your system to muffle the sounds. 

Thwaping noises, albeit annoying, are not of great concern. If you hear a strange “thwap, thwap, thwap” when the furnace or A/C kicks on or off, this is likely something stuck in the blades of your blower motor. A noise like this, provided it does not get worse as time goes on, is not the end of the world but could shorten the life of your machine due to additional wear and tear.  

If you are hearing a squealing, or screeching noise, it is entirely possible your HVAC system has a torn or damaged fan belt inside the blower motor. This noise requires you to replace the belt, if you are unfamiliar with this process it is a good one to leave to the professionals. This awful screech could also be associated with the motor inside your furnace requiring some oil. Depending on the make or model of your HVAC system, you may be able to utilize a common household lubricant but make sure you are positive before applying any to your machine. 

A rumbling noise inside your system means that soot has built up on the burners inside. This is something that you can DIY, but you will need to turn off the furnace before you do anything. Better yet, turn off the power supply for safety. Use your vacuum to remove dirt and debris that has built up on the burners. 

These are just a few of the fun noises you might encounter as a homeowner or renter, but there are loads more we can’t always plan for. If you hear anything strange, let us know and we can schedule a time to come to your house to hear what noises are to be heard! We are always here to assist our customers with any problem, no matter how quiet!


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