Your home’s furnace is an absolute necessity. Beyond the usual cranking up the heat in some parts of the United States during the winter, your furnace can also be responsible for making sure hot water occupies the pipes throughout your home.

However, you may have noticed it making some strange noises lately. It’s understandable to be concerned, but here are a few things that could be causing those audible annoyances, and ways you can make them disappear.

My furnace is making a rattling noise.

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If you notice something coming from your furnace that sounds like something rattling around inside, it could be broken components inside the motor or fan. In fact, a complete system failure could be at the center of the issue. If the sound is happening before the blower turns on, it could be a cracked heat exchanger. This could actually be a serious problem, because of the gases within a heat exchanger. It’s a good idea to call a heating or HVAC technician to address the issue as soon as possible.

Actually, it’s more of a booming sound.

Okay, if you’re noticing booming sounds from a furnace, that could be the result of gas buildup and delayed ignition. If you’re in a home or apartment building with an older furnace, this is actually quite a common cause of furnace noises.

If it’s the first time you are hearing this booming sound, don’t be alarmed. If you do notice the issue isn’t going away, it may be time to replace the unit altogether. Be sure to look into more modern furnaces as an option to replace your older gas furnace.

Now it sounds like squealing…

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Annual tune-ups are recommended for your furnaces regardless of any loud noise being emitted from a burner. However, if a squealing noise is driving you nuts, faulty belts and failing motors may just need some lubrication. This includes failing bearings within a furnace.

Tightening of the blower built in the furnace will also stop the squealing. While you can call a technician to address the problem, you can actually look into the unit’s owner manual for instructions on how to deal with the issue without putting out your pilot light and strenuous physical activity.

…and a little bit of scraping.

Scraping is an alarming noise because it actually sounds almost like a sword fight is taking place inside your furnace, with sharp metals coming into contact. If this is happening, you should turn off the furnace to prevent more damage until it can be professionally inspected by an HVAC technician. This could also be a less serious problem, like bearings that need lubrication.

The scraping can also be blamed on a loose or broken blower wheel or motor mount. Blower wheels can come loose and hit their housing, causing that annoying noise. Don’t leave this unattended, as it could damage the blower wheel itself or its housing.

Wait, it’s chirping. It sounds like chirping.

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All right, if you notice that your furnace suddenly sounds like a baby bird hatching, don’t be alarmed. That chirping is actually normal when you turn the heating unit on for the first time as you enter the cold season. It’s a sign of being stagnant for some time. However, if it’s still going after five minutes or so, it could be a problem with the belts that could require a bit of a tune-up.

Regular checks by professional technicians just provide greater peace of mind and may be beneficial to your mental health. After all, it’s tough to figure out how to stay healthy when you’re stuck at home because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The best way to approach your health during these difficult times is to take my time. Get outside for some fresh air and sun, and take into consideration what you are putting into your body. Regular maintenance for yourself is just as important as it is for a furnace.