Heating systems aren’t something we give a whole lot of thought to on a regular basis here in the Navarre area—especially considering we’ve had a 90° New Year’s before. But as briefly as we might need our heaters, when they are running we want them to run well right? Meaning, you want your heater to work as efficiently and effectively as possible, and to last as long as possible.
Well, to ensure this is the case, you have to take care of your heater properly. This means if you have a furnace system, getting it maintained once a year. If you have a year-round heat pump system—a very popular choice for many Florida residents—you should have it tuned-up every six months.
And in addition to regular maintenance, you should always be aware of signs that indicate something is amiss with your heater, like strange sounds. We’ve listed a few below that you should pay extra attention to (and call our pros when you hear them!)
Sometimes described as screeching, this sound is most likely an indication that the blower motor of your furnace or heat pump system isn’t working as it should, which means that the heat being produced by the system won’t be able to circulate warm air around your home successfully.
This may simply be a sign that your motor bearings need lubrication. This lubrication wears off over the years as a natural part of wear and tear, and this is a very easy “fix” for our technicians to make, so long as you give us a call right away.
Letting this problem persist can lead to a burnt out motor, which will require replacement. This can also lead to a domino effect of other problems within your heater.
What kind of bang are you hearing? Is it sort of a clanking sound, like metal-on-metal? A component might have come loose, or you could have a problem with your furnace’s blower wheel. If you hear this noise, you should turn off your furnace and contact our pros. Letting this go one will damage your heater further.
Is the bang more like a mini-explosion within your gas-powered heating? This is typically a sign of dirty burners, which probably sounds like a relatively benign issue but can actually be quite dangerous. The noise you’re hearing is caused by a delay in ignition because of dirt and grime buildup on the burners. So what happens is that the gas from the burners builds up beneath the grime, then when it breaks through, it does cause a mini explosion.
Now, we’re not saying that your whole entire heater is going to explode if you ignore this problem. But what can happen if you let this go on for too long is that it will rattle the heat exchangers each time it happens, eventually leading to a carbon monoxide leak, which will be hazardous for your home. More on that below!
No, there probably isn’t a snake stuck up in your HVAC system. If you have a gas-powered system, a hissing noise is a sign of a pretty harmful problem though. It likely indicates a leak in the heat exchanger. What happens with an aging furnace is that the heat exchangers can accumulate small cracks and fissures.
When the heater is off and cooled down, these cracks are so microscopic you probably wouldn’t be able to see them. But when heat is being produced, it causes the cracks to open up, and allow carbon monoxide (CO) gas to leak out.
Alternatively, if you have a heat pump system, the hissing noise you hear can indicate a refrigerant leak. While not as hazardous to your family as a CO leak by any means, it is detrimental to the functionality of your air conditioning and heating comfort. So, it’s still something you want to call us about right away.