Allow The Experts At Comfort First Heating & Cooling To Translate!

woman with head under pillow avoiding noises

The holidays are finally here! And while your furnace is an essential part of keeping you and your guests comfortable this season, it shouldn’t be butting into the conversation at the dinner table. 

While you may chalk up its vocalizations to a minor annoyance, it could be that your system is trying to tell you it’s in trouble. If you ignore these signs, your home may be left without any heat at all, which will certainly create a frosty atmosphere among your guests. Check out these common furnace noises, and learn what they mean! 

Chirping & Pinging

If your unit is chirping, it’s a signal that everything is A-Okay! These high pitched noises are common in day-to-day use. Your furnace is a complex machine, so it’s bound to make a few noises as it continues to heat your home. Light pinging sounds can also be caused by the ducts within your system expanding and contracting, so take it as a reassuring sign that everything is functioning as it should!


Due to seasonal temperature changes, your ducts will naturally expand and contract. However, if you notice a loud booming noise followed by the smell of something burning, it could mean that one of your gas valves is malfunctioning or that your system needs to be cleaned. Consider calling a professional to inspect your unit, as your furnace may be due for a maintenance checkup.

Crackling & Humming

When the furnace burner ignites, it may emit a soft humming sound, followed by a click. This is perfectly normal and a necessary operation for your unit to work properly. Additionally, if you need to shut your furnace down for any reason, it will take a moment for the metal pieces to cool down, so you may notice some crackling sounds. Don’t let this worry you, as your unit is simply preparing to turn off.

Screeching & Whining

There really isn’t a good scenario in which anyone would be screeching, is there? Same goes for your furnace! If you hear distressed, high-pitched sounds coming from your furnace, it could mean you have a damaged fan belt or motor on your hands. Moreover, if you hear whining, your furnace isn’t being a brat. Rather, this noise most likely indicates that there is an issue with your system. Be sure to call an expert to thoroughly investigate the situation and find the root of the problem. 


While rattling noises indicate that your system is cooling down, distinctive clunking could be a sign that your belt is damaged. Be sure to contact a professional right away, as your system will inevitably need repairs. If you wait too long to get belt repair, your system may need to be replaced.

If you have any questions about what your furnace is trying to tell you, give us a call at any of our five Comfort First Heating & Cooling locations. We’re available to help you 24 hours a day!