As you can imagine, troubleshooting a furnace problem can require a lot of research as well as investigation of the furnace itself. It can be daunting trying to figure out what to do first, so here's a guide to help you effectively troubleshoot your furnace when it starts making strange sounds. Use these three steps to shape your troubleshooting, but remember that if you feel overwhelmed at any point, you should call in a repair technician.
1. Assess type and source of sound
Not every new furnace sound should lead you to panic, shut off the furnace, and race to the phone. As a general rule, sounds coming from the motor itself are often more serious than sounds coming from the ductwork. Pinpointing the source can not only help you estimate the severity of the problem, but it can also help you identify its cause. Listen carefully to the sound once you've found its origin and think of how you would describe it. Is it a banging, rattling, clanging, whistling, or whooshing sound? The type of sound often helps indicate the source of the problem.
2. Determine the cause
Using your analysis of the type and source of the sound, figure out what the most likely culprits are. Some of the most common causes for abnormal furnace sounds include these:
Once you've determined what you think the problem is, you can call in a technician or try your hand at a do-it-yourself repair if it's within the range of your handyman skills.
3. Try quick fixes first before making involved repairs
Once you realize that the sound you're hearing could stem from a number of different causes, some of which you could fix yourself, start with the smallest and least invasive procedures. For example, if you hear a whistling or whooshing sound that could be from a clogged air filter, a hole in the duct, or an inferior duct system, your first step should be changing the filter. This way, you have a good chance of fixing the problem yourself and saving money on repairs. In addition, you'll spare yourself the embarrassment of having a technician come out to your house only to find that your furnace is having problems because you didn't correctly maintain the filter.
Use these three steps to guide you through the troubleshooting process. Not only will you have a good chance of eliminating the problem on your own, but if you do end up calling a technician from a service like Colorado Comfort Systems, you'll be able to streamline the process by saving him or her some diagnostic work.
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