Although winter months in Louisiana are typically mild, we still experience chilly days that call for warm air inside our homes. Ideally, we could turn on our heaters each year without a second thought. However, after a long year of hibernation, heaters often turn on but not without making strange noises!
While some noises are not a cause for concern, Southern Air understands why any homeowner would be worried. To help, we’ve compiled a guide on what can cause your heater to make noises, what these noises might mean and how to prevent them from happening!
As we’ve suggested, not all heater noises mean the same thing. Some require immediate inspection, while others are normal. Here are a few of the most common heater noises to familiarize yourself with:
A low, constant humming typically comes from a heater’s blower motor. This component takes the heat from your heater and sends (read blows) it to the rest of your house. Once your blower has operated for a certain amount of time, it’ll switch to a low hum. This is harmless and usually means your unit is operating properly.
However, if the humming starts to sound more like buzzing or scraping, it could mean your blower motor needs more lubrication or that it’s about to go out completely. WD-40 is usually not enough in these situations, so contact an HVAC technician to help lubricate the motor properly.
If you notice your heater making banging noises each time it kicks on, it often means there’s an issue with its ignition.
In order for your heater to properly heat air, the burners need to be lit by your heater’s ignition parts. Once your unit successfully lights the burners, the excess gas that was released could combust inside the heating chamber, which can cause loud banging noises. Turn off your heater to prevent this from occurring and call an HVAC technician to help you safely repair the ignition.
High-pitched squealing or screeching are two noises that sound similar and often mean the same thing: an issue with either the motor compartment or fan belt. If it’s an issue within your motor compartment, then it generally is caused by either the blower motor or the inducer motor, which removes poisonous gases from the previous heating cycle.
If this sound is caused by the fan belt, then it could mean the belt is out of place, needs lubrication, or is about to wear out. These issues are not the worst thing that could happen to your heater, but it’s better not to let too much time pass before calling an HVAC technician.
While familiarizing yourself with the different sounds your heater makes helps you understand what might be going on, your goal should be to prevent these noises from happening in the first place. Here are our suggestions:
Change air filters: Having clean filters is crucial for maintaining the health of your AC system. Dirty filters not only pollute your home but also prevent air from properly circulating throughout. This puts excess stress on your system because it’s working much harder than it needs to. To prevent this, make sure to change your filters at least once a month.
Check ducts/vents: Sometimes the noises aren’t coming from your heater exactly, but your ducts or vents instead. Take the time to inspect your ductwork and try to find any loose pieces of debris or metal, such as pieces of insulation or joints. These materials can dent your ductwork over time, so it’s important to check this section of your HVAC system at least once in a while.
Schedule preventative maintenance: Relying on an experienced HVAC technician is the best way to prevent your heater from experiencing not just noises but from shutting down on you entirely. While it may seem like a hassle, dealing with heater repairs or replacement is costlier than scheduling annual maintenance, so it’ll help you save money in the long run. Our trustworthy HVAC technicians at Southern Air will make sure you get the most out of your money by cleaning, inspecting and tuning up any potential issues, such as loose belts or motors. All these steps are necessary to ensure your unit is functioning smoothly for the cold weather to come.
Has your heater been making strange noises that don’t fit the above descriptions? If you’re located in central Louisiana, Southern Air can help! Our experienced technicians will provide a thorough evaluation to narrow down the issue and perform the necessary repairs. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our friendly customer service agents!
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