Why is My Furnace Clicking?
All heating systems make some kind of noise. Radiators make knocking and hissing sounds, and even a small ductless system will hum a little. Furnaces will make a low hum or rumble while operating normally. Clicking sounds are one noise you don’t want to hear.
Clicking furnaces are more than a nuisance. Gas furnaces, especially, should be checked out by an HVAC professional for any clicking sound or other strange noise. Clicking from gas furnaces often indicates a problem with the gas valve or ignitor—and you certainly don’t want a gas leak.
The common sources of a furnace clicking sound are:
- Gas valve — A broken, jammed, or clogged valve may fail to let out gas. When this happens, the ignitor clicks and clicks endlessly, like someone trying to use an empty lighter.
- Flame sensor or thermocouple — This part senses the presence of a flame and tells the gas valve to open. If it’s faulty or dirty, it won’t send the signal and the ignitor will click.
- Ignitor flame — The flame itself can run too cold to burn the gas or oil effectively, so the ignition clicks for several minutes or unendingly.
- Fan or inducer — These parts sometimes make clicking noises due to a broken fan blade. A lot of air passes through, so they can get knocked off-kilter by dirt and debris buildup, too.
- Electrical components — Electric furnaces have heating elements that make up the starter system. You don’t have to worry about a gas leak, but clicking from an electric furnace means you need repair.
- Clicking sound from ducts — Do you hear clicking in the house, away from the furnace? A duct seam may have come loose such that two pieces of metal are clicking together as air passes through. Or something stuck in the duct is rattling around rhythmically.
Don’t Ignore Strange Noises or Clicking from a Furnace!
Whether it’s a dangerous gas leak situation or just a faulty furnace, you should never let your furnace keep running if it sounds like it’s acting up. One bad part can make another part break down, or cause the furnace to run inefficiently, exacerbating the problem.
A heating technician will inspect all the components and find the source of the noise. Then, we can repair or clean any parts that need attention. Most of the possible solutions will be fairly simple and straightforward—perhaps just cleaning a gas valve will do. Still, you need to put a pair of professional eyes on the matter to be safe.
For furnace repairs or inspections in Chicago’s North Shore, you can always call upon Glenbrook Heating & Air Conditioning. We offer 24-hour emergency repair to keep you safe and warm when something goes wrong.
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