Recognizing and Identifying Problematic Furnace Noises

Service repair being done on a heat pump hvac system

There are few things in life that are as annoying as the sound of a furnace that isn’t in its prime. The humming, scraping, or even thumping can be incredibly grating while you’re trying to relax at home. However, the problem goes much further beyond the noise.

Furnaces that are in good condition should cause minimal disruption at home. A strange noise that is out of the ordinary is almost certainly indicative of a greater problem. Luckily, those in Kelowna can turn to us for reliable furnace repair services. Before you give us a call, though, you may want to know what signs you should know how to recognize.

Why leave your home in the hands of a sub-par HVAC expert? Call CE Plumbing & Heating today at 250-707-8285 and see why we’re the company Kelowna homeowners trust most.

Recognizing and Identifying Problematic Furnace Noises

To determine whether a furnace’s noise is normal or indicating a different problem, start by turning off the furnace’s power and gas. Listen for any loud or unusual sounds. Here are six different types of noise you should be aware of:

1 - Continuous Grating

A continuous grating or scraping sound is emitted when a metal scrapes against another metal. This could mean a loose or broken blower wheel or a broken motor mount. If left unrepaired, a loose blower wheel can damage itself and the housing beyond repair. If it has, you’ll also hear vibrating, squealing, scratching, and even banging sounds that indicate the wheel and/or mount must be removed and replaced before you operate the furnace normally.

2 - Metallic Clanging

A metallic clanging noise is usually due to the sheet metal in the side of your furnace bending inward. A technician will be able to identify the problem, be it an undersized duct, closed vent, or clogged filter.

3 - Loud Humming

A low humming sound usually means your furnace is operating as it should, but if it’s louder than normal, you may have a loud transformer on your hands. Another possibility is an interior fan or capacitor working incorrectly.

4 - High-Pitched Squealing

Squealing is usually quite easy to identify—it indicates that the fan belt lacks lubrication. Try applying oil or tightening the blower belt to stop the noise.

5 - Rhythmic Thumping

A thumping sound is indicative of an unbalanced blower wheel. The motor itself can also become unbalanced. Should this problem go unaddressed, it could result in a costlier fix down the line. You’d be wise to call an expert before things get out of hand.

6 - Low Groaning and Rumbling

A groaning or rumbling sound typically results when your burner isn’t working as it should. If you hear this sound, turn off your furnace immediately and get in touch with an expert for a professional fix.


As the temperature begins dropping and we transition to warmer clothing, don’t forget to prepare your furnace to serve you all winter long. It’s a good idea to have your furnace undergo a professional inspection during fall so any issues can be addressed well before snow hits the ground.

Even after a professional has performed maintenance, familiarize yourself with the sounds of a broken furnace so you know when to call the experts in. Doing so will protect your furnace and keep it in good condition, ensuring you don’t pay much more by letting the problem fester.

CE Plumbing and Heating offers the best professional furnace repair in all of Kelowna. We also do water heater replacement and plumbing repairs. Get in touch to make an appointment for furnace inspection and maintenance today!

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