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Beware These Sounds Coming From Your Heater

Your heater isn’t completely silent while it’s working to heat your home. The motor of your unit clicks on and you may hear a gentle hum or the fan blades whirring. If your heater has ductwork you may even hear the metal expanding and contracting with temperature changes occasionally. 

But you should never hear loud, surprising, or concerning sounds coming from your heater. If you hear something unusual that causes concern, you may need to give us a call for furnace repair in Salt Lake City. You don’t ever have to feel like calling for a heater check-up is overkill. It’s always better to be safe than sorry when it comes to potential heater problems. 

Sources of Heater Noises

There are a variety of things that can lead to unusual heater sounds. Some problems are relatively simple to fix while others are major problems that can be expensive if they go ignored. Common heater problems include: 

  • Fuel ignition issues

  • Air filters that are clogged or dirty

  • Loose duct work 

  • Loose fan blades

  • Heat exchanger cracks

  • Sediment build-up

  • Fan belts wearing out

  • Leaks in gas or refrigerant lines

Unusual Heater Sounds

Each of these heater problems has a correlating sound to indicate that something is wrong. Below is an outline of different sounds and what they may mean for your heater. Keep in mind that it takes an HVAC expert to diagnose problems with your heater. This list is just a good place to start with identifying heater problems. More likely than not, your furnace or heating system will make a specific type of noise to alert you to a potential problem. Some of the more common noises you might hear from your heating system or hot water heater include the following.


If your furnace has a pilot light, then it turns on using an ignition. The pilot light should light the gas for heating right away. If there’s an issue with the pilot light, you may hear banging as gas builds up in the system. 


There are a few things that can lead to whistling inside your heater. The first is air being forced through a small opening. If there’s a blockage in your system somewhere, the air being forced through can make a whistling sound. But gas line leaks and refrigerant leaks can also cause whistling sounds. A blockage is less dangerous than a gas or refrigerant leak, but any problem that causes a whistling sound warrants immediate attention from an expert.

Clanging or Clunking

Knocking sounds can indicate that a large component is banging inside of your heater. For example, bent fan blades can hit walls or other components inside your furnace. If a fan belt breaks, it can also cause a knocking sound as it hits other components when your fan blades spin. 


After a heating cycling, you may hear a gentle whoosh or low roar. Either of these sounds will be steady and consistent as your system winds back down from heating your home. But if you hear rumbling instead when your unit turns off, something may be wrong. Your burner is likely staying on even though the heating cycle is over. 

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