No one likes to hear strange sounds coming from their furnace, but the type of noise may give you a clue as to what kind of problem you are facing. Some noises don’t mean anything, but other sounds can indicate a serious problem that needs to be dealt with immediately. Fixing a rattling sound in your Bryant furnace can be as easy as tightening a screw – or it might mean replacing your entire furnace.
In 2008, Carrier Corporation, the manufacturer of Bryant gas furnaces, settled a class action lawsuit filed by owners of high-efficiency furnaces manufactured after 1989. Plaintiffs in the case alleged that Carrier used an inferior plastic material to make the heat exchangers, and because this material wasn’t capable of withstanding the high temperatures the heat exchanger is exposed to, the furnaces failed prematurely. Bad heat exchangers can make a rattling noise.
The rattling noise that a cracked heat exchanger makes can often be heard throughout the house about 30 seconds before the blower turns on. If the heat exchanger is cracked, you might also hear a loud banging sound. The noise is sometimes described as sounding like a vibrating water pipe.
Your Bryant gas furnace could still have a problem with the heat exchanger even if it’s not one of the models involved in the lawsuit. Heat exchangers are the core of your furnace, and the constant heating and cooling that they experience over the years eventually causes them all to crack or develop holes. Heat exchangers have a life expectancy of 15 to 20 years.
There are several other reasons why your Bryant furnace might make a rattling noise. Check the cover panels and make sure they’re screwed on tight. Rattling noises might also come from loose ductwork, especially if the ductwork is metal. If the rattling noise speeds up when the fan picks up speed, it might indicate that the bearings on the fan are bad. Rattling noises can also indicate a loose fan pulley.
If an inspection of your Bryant furnace reveals that the rattling noise is not coming from the cover panels, the ductwork or the fan, then you should call your service technician right away. Cracked heat exchangers are dangerous. If the crack is large enough, the flames in the heat exchanger can be pushed into the open area of the furnace and start a fire. In addition, cracked heat exchangers allow poisonous carbon monoxide to leak back into your house.
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