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Sounds Your Heater Should and Should NOT Make

Learn more about sounds that are good and bad coming from your heater.

When it comes to your heater, you may hear noises occasionally that are a part of normal operation. But other times, you may hear noises that are concerning. How do you tell the difference between what noises are OK to hear and which ones signal trouble?

You may hear the gentle hum of the motor running as your heater heat your home, but you should never hear a clicking sound from air vents when heat is on. This is just one example. You can keep reading to learn more about sounds that are good and bad coming from your heater.

Rattling Sounds

Rattling is a sound that could be good or bad, depending on when and how often you hear it. If your heater is attached to a network of ducts, it is completely normal to hear rattling when the system first turns on. Temperature changes can cause the thin sheet metal of ductwork to expand and contract, which makes a gentle rattling sound. However, the rattling should not last long, and should not happen frequently.

If you hear persistent rattling or rattling that continues to get louder, something else may be wrong. It’s also possible that you have loose bolts that are rattling against other parts of the system during operation, and this is definitely a problem that you want to get addressed. It’s also possible that your ductwork is loose and rattling more than it should. The bottom line is, if you have a concern you should give our team a call so that we can check it out and offer a solution if needed – no guesswork involved.

Chirping Sounds

Chirping is another sound that could either be completely normal or bad. Your heater may chirp when it very first turns on for heating cycle, but the chirping should not last. If the chirping does last, you may have a pulley inside of the heater that is out of alignment and causing the sound. This is definitely something that you want to get checked out, because if the pulley breaks or slips out of place even more then you may face a complete heater breakdown.


Hearing a banging sound is never good. It means that something large inside of your system is loose and maybe even moving around. It may be loose but still attached and knocking against a side, or it may have completely broken free and we moving around inside of the system. The bottom line is any loud or alarming sound is always a reason to turn your heater off right away and give us a call for service.


If you have a gas heater, booming sounds can indicate that your heater is experiencing delayed ignition. This means that the igniter is not lighting as quickly as it should and too much gas is building up in the chamber before ignition happens. Too much gas basically creates a small explosion inside of your heater. You want to get the problem checked out instead of allowing it to continue. If these explosions continue to happen, your heat exchanger may crack, resulting in the need to replace your entire unit.


The parts inside of your heater start out being very well lubricated so that they can work together effortlessly to heat your home. But over time this lubrication can dry up and wear away. Heater maintenance is an opportunity for us to re-lubricate your heater components, but if you skip out on heater maintenance frequently, then you may begin to hear a screeching sound. This can indicate that you have metal parts side of your heater grinding against each other without any lubrication to make the motions fluid.

Contact Chase Heating and Cooling today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. We're "Keeping Homes Comfortable In All Seasons."