What Furnace Noises Mean: An Austin Heating Guide

Furnaces have a tendency to develop all sorts of strange quirks as they get older, with one of the most common being strange noises. When you first hear noises coming from your furnace, it can be a bit disconcerting. Though some of these noises are completely harmless and are often part of the furnace’s regular operation, there are some of which you should be aware of. Let’s examine some sounds that indicate a need for professional attention.


A squealing sound coming from your furnace, usually on startup, is a sign that your fan belt is wearing out. The fan belt is a rubber loop that attaches to both the furnace fan and the motor. When the motor turns on, the fan belt turns and causes the fan to turn, as well. As the fan belt ages, it stretches and often cracks. The squealing sound you hear is caused by this wear and tear. If you hear this sound coming from your furnace, have a professional look at it. You’ll likely need to replace the fan belt.

Rattling or Grinding

Rattling and/or grinding noises are often caused by the bearings in your furnace motor wearing out. The bearings are there to keep your motor running smoothly, with as little friction as possible. Over time, these bearings can lose their lubrication from normal use. This is what causes the rattling or grinding sound you hear from your furnace motor. It is possible that you could simply re-oil the bearings. Depending on how advanced the wear and tear is, however, they may have to be replaced.


A loud booming coming from the ducts while the heat is on is usually the result of the simple expansion. Exposing the ducts to heat, especially in cold weather, can cause them to expand and contract as they cool off. A problem with burners is another possibility. Honestly, this sound could be either innocuous or a sign of a larger problem. When in doubt, call a professional just to be safe.

If you’re concerned about the sounds coming from your furnace, call Intelligent Air Services. We offer professional heating repairs throughout the entire Austin area.

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