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What It Means When Your Furnace Is Making Odd Noises

Furnaces make a fair bit of noise during operation, as anyone who owns a furnace knows. However, if you’ve had your furnace for any length of time then you know which noises are normal and which are not. If your furnace starts making strange noises during operation, it’s often an indication of something wrong with the system. If you’re not sure whether or not the noise indicates a problem, call for repairs anyway just to be sure. Let’s take a look at some unusual furnace noises, and the problems they tend to indicate.


The furnace air handler is essentially a motor attached to a fan, and is responsible for circulating air throughout the house. In order to cope with the stress placed on it during operation, the motor is equipped with a number of oiled bearings. These bearings reduce friction on the system while it’s running. Over time, though, the bearings will eventually wear down and need to be replaced. As the bearings wear down, the friction on the system will increase and produce a loud grinding sound. Call for repairs as soon as you hear this sound. If the bearings aren’t replaced in time, the motor can burn out.


If your furnace makes a loud booming sound when turning on, it’s likely because your burner assembly is dirty. The burner assembly is the component in gas furnaces that burns natural gas to generate heat. Carbon particles and other combustion byproducts can buildup on the burner assembly over time, causing multiple jets to fire later than they normally would. When the jets finally do ignite, they burn through all of the excess gas at once and generate a loud boom. Having the assembly cleaned should fix the problem.

If your furnace is making strange noises, call Shavitz Heating and Air Conditioning. We offer a full range of furnace services throughout Chicago, IL.

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