Spooooky Noises! Are They Your HVAC System?


Creak! Rattle! Bang!

What if those are not the noises of scary Halloween celebrations, but instead, coming from your heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) system? Although all heating and cooling equipment may make noises from time to time, not all noises are equal in severity. Some may be perfectly normal operating sounds while others could signal big trouble. Our team at AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning wants to help you correctly identify the spooky noises that might be coming from your HVAC equipment—and decide whether or not you have to worry about them.

Clicking, Tapping, and Swooshing

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, heat pumps can reduce a homeowner’s energy usage significantly. This is one reason heat pumps are very popular in Round Rock, TX. If you have recently installed a heat pump in your Texas home, you may find it louder than a conventional furnace. When a heat pump fires up, it can sound like it is shaking. The unit also normally makes a clicking or tapping sound as the unit is shutting down. Once the heat pump is doing its daily duty in the winter, you may occasionally hear a swooshing sound that occurs during defrosting.

Homeowners who heat with a gas furnace may notice a clicking sound as well. If the sound occurs just during the beginning and ending of cycles, that is usually normal. However, continued clicking may signal a problem which needs further investigation.

Banging, Popping, and Clanking

HVAC equipment has lots of moving parts, so if you hear a metal-hitting-metal noise, this can mean that the fan blades are banging against something. In this case, you should have one of our HVAC professionals come and take a closer look. Our technician may be able to simply remove the foreign object and inspect for further damage.

Furnaces may make a popping noise at the beginning of a cycle, which can be caused by the expansion of the air duct metal when warm air hits the cold metal. However, an ongoing, louder popping noise could indicate a problem such as dirty burners. Loud noises should not be left unchecked; fixing small problems today can prevent big problems down the road.

Humming and Good (or Bad) Vibrations

Most HVAC equipment will emit a low-level humming noise during regular operation.

Vibration sounds might be harmless and simply a bit annoying for Round Rock homeowners. You could address vibrating issues by placing rubber pads under the vibrating equipment, which will absorb the shaking. In some cases, vibrations may signal loose screws on a cover panel, which might be easily tightened. 

However, if the hum is particularly loud or during a time that is out of the ordinary, dirty gas burners or a misplaced pilot light might be the culprit. Less common causes for vibrations may be tightly strapped coolant piping or an air handler issue. Both would require the trained eye of one of our expert technicians.

Ear-Piercing Shrieking, Squealing, or Grinding

Anytime you use the adjective “ear-piercing” before an HVAC noise, you will need to consult with one of our professionals. These types of shrieking or grinding sounds often signal that motor bearings need attention. If these bearings are not regularly lubricated, they can become dry and make loud, disconcerting noises.

Loose belts or other problems with the furnace blower motor can also generate squealing noises, so do not be afraid to call us.

Buzzing, Rumbling, Gurgling, and Thumping

A host of other noises may be heard from your HVAC system. A good rule of thumb is that if the noise is out of the of the ordinary, it warrants getting some attention.

HVAC Noises Should Not Make You Scream

Our team at AiRCO Heating & Air Conditioning would be happy to help diagnose these or other strange and spooky sounds from your HVAC system before winter sets in. Call 512.537.1234 or contact us online today.

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