How to Quiet a Noisy Furnace

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Furnaces keep homes warm, but they don't necessarily keep them quiet. Heating ducts are frequently made of metal, a noisy material for conducting air, according to Don Vandervort's Home Tips website. That pinging noise you hear is the sound of flapping metal, or it can be nothing more than thermal expansion. Fortunately, you don't have to live with the noise. While other types of heating systems -- such as radiant heating -- offer the most complete, long-term solutions, you can easily fix simple problems and keep your furnace both warm and quiet.

Things You'll Need

  • Hammer
  • Furnace filter
  • Motor-fan belt (optional)
  • Listen for pinging noises and follow the ductwork to locate the source. When you find the exact location of the sound -- which is probably the site of a piece of loose metal -- gently dent the sheet metal with a hammer. This repositions and firms up the surface, reducing the odds of it moving as air rushes past it, or during thermal expansion.

  • Replace the furnace filter to remedy banging noises that occur when the furnace starts and stops. Family Economics educator Lois Smith of the University of Illinois Extension website recommends changing the filter every three months to keep your furnace operating efficiently.

  • Remove the grille from the furnace and see if this stops the noise. If it does, you need a grille that lets more air pass through it, according to professional engineer Norman Becker's book "Popular Mechanics 500: Simple Home Repair Solutions."

  • In the event of squealing noises, turn off the furnace to inspect the air handler unit. Look at the belt that links the motor to the fan. If it has slipped -- the common cause of squealing sounds -- reposition and retighten it on the motor and blower.

  • Remove the belt if the furnace has been making a grinding noise. This usually indicates a worn belt that needs replacement, according to Don Vandervort's Home Tips. Buy a new belt -- or two, to be safe. Remove the access panel from the furnace, loosen the bolts that provide the blower motor tension and remove the old belt. Insert the new belt and retighten the bolts. Return the access panel to its previous position.

Tips & Warnings

  • When tightening the motor-fan belt, allow less than 1/2 inch of "give" on either side. Don't over-tighten it, as this can damage the motor fan.

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References

  • Photo Credit Comstock/Comstock/Getty Images
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