Help! My Furnace Makes a Loud Noise When Turning On

Nevada doesn’t get as cold as the northern states, but you may need to turn on your heating system to warm up your home in the wintertime. It’s normal for your furnace to make noise; however, if your system makes a loud noise when starting up, it can be jarring and may indicate a malfunction somewhere in the unit. 

Before we roll up our sleeves, it’s key to recognize the early signs that trouble might be brewing. Stick around as we unveil why your furnace is making that racket, ensuring you’re well-equipped to prevent future cold and noisy nights.

Our HVAC experts are well-versed in diagnosing and fixing various furnace issues. Contact our team for immediate assistance. 

Furnace troubleshooting: Identifying the noise

Before you can address the noise, you have to know what’s wrong. Here’s a quick troubleshooting guide to help you identify what could be causing the problem. 

Banging noise(s) 

If your furnace kicks on with a loud bang, you might be dealing with a delayed ignition

Delayed ignition is typically caused by a buildup of debris, dirt, or moisture within the system that impedes the normal flow of gas and air necessary for smooth ignition. This usually happens due to lack of use, like during the summertime. 

Gas accumulates inside the chamber, and once burners eventually ignite, there’s a mini explosion that could cause damage to your unit. As an explosion, it’s also a potential hazard to your home. 

Proper cleaning and professional adjustment can usually set things right, ensuring your furnace fires up smoothly, without a dramatic entrance, and lives out its full lifespan. 

Other causes include: 

  • Another ignition issue: Faulty igniters or malfunctioning pilot lights can impede the start-up process, leading to delayed ignition. These components are vital for initiating the heating process, and malfunctions can cause significant delays and safety concerns.
  • Problem with the gas pressure: Inadequate or irregular gas pressure can hinder your heating system from igniting promptly. Not enough pressure will fail to meet the system’s ignition requirements; if it’s too high, it can cause dangerous buildups, resulting in delayed starts.

Important note: Ignition issues can be dangerous. This is not a DIY fix – it’s a job for a trained professional. 

Popping noise(s)

It’s somewhat comforting when popcorn pops in your microwave, but when your furnace emits popping sounds, it’s likely due to the metal components expanding and contracting. While this can be normal to some degree, excessive noise might require insulation or ductwork adjustments.

Take note of the frequency. If you only hear the noise occasionally, it may not be an issue. Sometimes, due to sudden temperature changes (such as a heating or cooling system starting up), the metal ductwork will expand or contract. However, if you’re constantly hearing a popping noise from your heating system, it might indicate a larger issue. 

Other contributors to expanding or contracting metal ductwork include: 

  • Airflow issues: Restricted airflow from closed dampers or dirty air filters forces the system to work harder, causing rapid temperature changes that lead to metal ductwork expanding or contracting. Check your air filter and damper. 
  • Air pressure buildup: An imbalance in air pressure, often due to improper installation or blockages, can cause sections of the ductwork to expand or contract as they attempt to accommodate the pressure changes.
  • Incorrect ductwork installation: Poorly installed ductwork may not be able to distribute air evenly, leading to hot spots and cold spots within the system. This uneven heating and cooling causes the metal to expand and contract more frequently and intensely.

Schedule an appointment with one of our trained professionals for a more thorough and personalized diagnosis. 

The importance of regular furnace maintenance

Regular maintenance is essential! Instead of taking the hits as they come, be proactive with your heating system’s care. By scheduling routine service checks, homeowners not only arm themselves with valuable information but also become more knowledgeable about the ins and outs of their furnace system. 

This learning process is crucial – it lets homeowners notice minor issues so they don’t become… noisier problems. Furthermore, regular maintenance ensures the system runs efficiently, which can lead to lower energy bills. 

A well-maintained furnace doesn’t have to work as hard to heat your home, reducing wear and tear (and, consequently, noise) and optimizing energy use. Investing in regular maintenance service for your furnace is an investment in peace, comfort, and savings.

A professional can fix complex or ignition-related issues

While some maintenance tasks, such as replacing dirty filters and basic cleaning around the furnace, can be easily performed by homeowners to ensure the smooth operation of their heating system, be sure to leave more sensitive repairs (like ignition issues) to the pros.

This ensures the safety and efficiency of your system but also protects you from potentially dangerous situations and costly mistakes. DIY jobs can void your warranty! Professional technicians bring expertise and specialized equipment critical for accurately identifying and resolving furnace issues.

Things to check before turning your furnace on for the season

To ensure the cozy warmth of your home isn’t compromised, it’s crucial to give your furnace a thorough once-over before the cold season hits. Here’s a guide to get your heating system ready for its winter performance:

  • Clean or replace your filters: Clean filters promote better air quality and enhance system performance.
  • Clean your unit (both inside and around it): Clean inside and around your unit to increase efficiency and reduce fire risks. Also, keep the area around your unit clutter-free for the same reasons. 
  • Check that your thermostat works properly.  
  • Look out for drafts and seal windows/doors for leaks: Improve your system’s efficiency by checking and sealing drafts.  
  • Replace the batteries and test your CO and smoke detectors.
  • Schedule a professional inspection. Experts will address small things to ensure your furnace is in peak condition for the winter. 
  • Take note of issues and report them to your technician: Remember to tell your technician about any problems you’re experiencing with your unit. 

For furnace maintenance and repair, call River Valley

When unsure if the symphony of sounds coming from your furnace is a cause for concern, our trained technicians at River Valley Air Conditioning are only a call away. No question is too small, especially when it comes to the safety of your home. 

We care about your comfort which is why we offer emergency hours – every day from 8am to 8pm – to assist you. If you’re experiencing anything out of the ordinary with your heating system, don’t hesitate to reach out. 

Our team is always ready to provide the expertise and support you need to ensure your home’s warmth and tranquility.