This time of the year, when spring is almost here but winter temperatures are still gracing us with their presence, is a lousy time to have your heating system develop problems. It’s also the time of the year when heating system problems are most likely to happen, thanks to the stress they’ve been put under all season long. If you can detect problems in your heater early enough, though, you can have them repaired before they develop too far.
A furnace system that’s clearly showing signs of disrepair, though, that isn’t inspected, can fail you before the season is over, or never even start up next fall.
We can’t stress enough how important it is to watch for signs that something is amiss. One of the most common signs is a furnace that’s making strange noises. Keep reading to learn more about common problem noises, and what causes them.
Inside your furnace system, there’s a component called the air handler. This is what actually blows air around the house while your system is running. The air handler motor contains bearing that help reduce friction on the part while it’s operating. These bearings can last quite a while, but they do eventually wear down.
As this happens, the friction on the air handler motor increases until it starts emitting a grinding sound. If you hear this noise, it’s a good idea to call for repairs as soon as you can. If the bearings aren’t replaced in time, the motor could burn out entirely. It’s a lot more expensive to replace the air handler motor than to replace the bearings in that motor.
If your furnace is making a loud booming sound each time it starts up, you probably have a problem with delayed ignition. As the burner assembly in a gas-powered furnace combusts fuel, carbon particles build up on the jets. This can be harmless at first, but over time, the buildup becomes severe enough that it causes the jets to fire later than they should.
When the jets do finally ignite, they burn through an excess of gas all at once. This is what causes that booming noise. Professional cleaning should clear out the burner assembly, and resolve this particular issue. You’re going to want to have it done quickly, however, as the burner assembly could eventually become so clogged that it stops igniting at all, causing your system to essentially fail.
If your furnace keeps turning itself on and off without seeming to complete a full heating cycle, it’s important that you call in a pro right away. This behavior is referred to as short-cycling, and it isn’t something you want to continue for any length of time.
Short-cycling accelerates the rate at which the various components of your furnace wear down, making breakdowns more likely to occur. If the problem continues long enough, it can shorten the lifespan of the furnace by years. Make sure you call for repairs as soon as you notice your system doing this.