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Two Signs of Potential Problems With Your Furnace

A furnace that stops working in the middle of winter is a homeowner’s nightmare. That’s why it helps to know the problems you can run into with your furnace and if they require professional help. Be aware of these two signs of furnace problems.



You may hear strange noises from your furnace. Some of these sounds are indications that the furnace will soon need repair even if it’s still working at the moment.


Squealing is often caused by the blower belt. If you hear this noise, the blower belt may have come loose over time and needs to be replaced with a new belt. Squealing is also caused by a malfunctioning blower motor.


A banging noise is due to unexpected combustion happening within the furnace. You might hear banging if the burner is dirty and allows gas to build up in the furnace before it finally ignites. Chances are that if you run down to your furnace to investigate the noise, you won’t hear the banging again because the furnace is now running.

The small explosion runs the risk of cracking the furnace’s heat exchanger, so have the burner cleaned or replaced to prevent the problem from happening again.


A scraping sound is due to metal grinding against metal. The likely reason is due to components of the blower motor coming loose and rubbing against other metal parts. The problem may be something as simple as the mount that holds the blower motor in place coming loose, or it could be a wheel from the motor shaft that is now loose.


Whistling sounds are usually nothing to be too concerned about. You likely have a ductwork leak in your home where air is escaping. You may lose some hot air in the process, but you don’t need to address this concern immediately.



Your furnace can also create some odd odors that are a reason for concern. When you have a gas-powered furnace, odors will be especially alarming due to the potential of having a gas leak in your home. Odors can either be a problem that’s nothing to worry about or an immediate cause to seek professional help.

If you smell an odor for the first time after turning your furnace on, you are probably smelling burnt dust. Dust can collect on the internal components of the furnace, and if you haven’t had your furnace professionally cleaned since last winter, all of the dust will start to burn immediately. This odor should eventually go away on its own, but you can prevent it by having the furnace cleaned each year.

A more serious problem is the smell of burning wires, which can happen after the furnace runs for a while. This odor is due to overheating that caused the wires to start melting. Another serious problem is the smell of rotten eggs, which is due to gas not burning off and leaking outside of your furnace. Stop using your furnace in either of these two situations, and have the furnace serviced right away.

The most dangerous gas is one that cannot even be detected. You should have carbon monoxide detectors placed throughout your home in order to alert you about a carbon monoxide leak. If the alarm goes off, turn off your furnace and leave your home immediately until you can have the furnace looked at.

When you are not sure what’s wrong with your furnace, reach out to JR Putman Plumbing, Heating and Air for assistance. You can schedule a service call and have one of our expert technicians come to your home to fix the problem.

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