Why is my furnace squeaking?
I’m sure you’ve clicked on this article because the sounds your furnace is making are finally driving you up the wall. Is a mouse trapped inside of your furnace? If not then why is it making such awful and annoying squeaking sounds?
Among the strange sounds one can hear from their furnaces, such as loud pops or scraping, squeaking is probably the most irritating. Maybe it’s because it reminds you of nails on a chalkboard. There’s just something about that high-pitched squeak that can really get to you. Well, have no fear. Here at Smile HVAC, we are more than happy to assess your furnace’s squeaky situation. Smile HVAC proudly services and repairs furnaces in Toronto and Greater Toronto Area.
What is a furnace?
Let’s start with the basics. You’re probably aware that your home has some type of central heating system. Although, the parts that make up said the heating system can be a bit confusing for those not in the HVAC biz. The three main components that heat your home during those cold winter nights are your heater/central heating system, furnace and boiler.
Your furnace looks like a big, grey, rectangular-shaped box with slats. Probably sitting in a dedicated room in your basement. This is where the heat is created inside your home. Eventually, that gets pushed through your central heating system, through your ventilation and into the rooms in your home effectively making them nice and toasty, and comfortable to live in.
What are the most common furnace problems?
Here we’ll outline a few common problems furnaces might encounter throughout their lifetime. It’s great to be informed about the types of problems you might be experiencing so you can let your HVAC technician know what to expect, and you can get the help you need quickly.
- Lack of Maintenance
Many people make the mistake of not scheduling regular maintenance or inspections for their furnace. Heck, most people don’t even realize it needs maintenance in the first place, or maybe it just falls through the cracks during the day-to-day. Whatever the case may be, missing routine inspections and maintenance can lead to problems and breakdowns down the road.
- Dirty Filters
Missing maintenance means there’s a higher chance you might have this issue. Dirty or clogged air filters in your furnace means that your furnace will have a reduced air flow, making your furnace push itself into overtime in order to circulate the air. Trapped dust and debris in any sort of machinery is bad news and can result in damage to your limit switch which controls the fan.
- Malfunctioning Thermostat
A broken thermostat leads to problems in creating a comfortable living environment. Faulty wiring, age or dust build-up can cause a thermostat to malfunction and send the wrong signals to your HVAC system. Because of that sometimes the furnace can blow the cold air instead of the warm one.
- Flickering or Yellow Pilot Light
If your pilot light is flickering or mostly yellow this means there is too much air flow in the gas line. This could be caused by one of two things. Either there is a leak in the gas line or your furnace’s thermocouple may be broken. If you have this problem, call a professional HVAC technician immediately, as it could lead to a very dangerous situation.
- Frequent Cycling
If your HVAC system keeps cycling between “on’ and “off” this can be a problem caused by any of the issues mentioned above. That, or a bad thermostat setting.
- Furnace is Too Noisy
And last but not least, your furnace is making odd noises through all hours of the day. This can include rumbling, banging, popping, rattling or squeaking sounds. Your furnace should not be making these noises. They are an indication that something is wrong with your furnace, such as a mechanical problem, an issue with reduced airflow or maybe a clogged burner.
What causes my furnace to make squeaky noises and how do I fix it?
Furnaces can make squeaking noises for a variety of reasons. In general, it means that a part inside of your furnace needs to be replaced or fixed. This can be anything from the blower belt fraying, to the blower or inducer motor wearing out over time.
Sometimes it means that some parts inside your furnace have become misaligned, causing them to rub together to create the loud squeaking you may be hearing.
The first step in figuring out what the cause is is removing your furnace cover to take a closer look and find out the source of the noise. Although, if you don’t care to remove the furnace cover, or aren’t really interested in finding the source yourself, you can always call in a professional HVAC technician to do the dirty work for you.
If you are taking the DIY route, be sure to turn off your system before proceeding!
The source of the noise can be caused by two main things, either your fan belt is loose or worn-out or your motor bearings are.
Once you remove the furnace cover take a look at your fan belt. Is it fraying, cracking or showing signs of wear and tear? This indicates you need to get it replaced and it is the cause of the noise. If it is in good shape, check if it is loose next. Push down on it and if it bends more than ¾ of an inch that is considered too loose. To tighten it you would need to place the motor further back in the motor mount until the fan belt is taut. It’s always recommended to allow professionals to take a look and let them fix the furnace unless you know what you’re doing.
Contact Smile HVAC to fix your furnace!
The second cause of a squeaky furnace is worn-out motor bearings. These are small wheel-shaped pieces that handle the friction as the blower motor spins. Motor bearings wear out and often need to be replaced. Contact an expert HVAC technician at Smile HVAC today if you have any further questions or if you are experiencing issues with your HVAC system.
We provide furnace repair, furnace installation and furnace maintenance as well as other HVAC services in Toronto and GTA. It is always best to enlist the help of a professional when it comes to the safety of your home.