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Why Does My Heater Make a Screeching Sound?

by Blake Wiltshire | Nov 26, 2018 | Residential HVAC, Residential Services, Residential Heating | 0 Comments

You finally get home after a long, chilly day. As soon as you come inside, you crank up the thermostat hoping to knock some of the chill out of your bones. But instead of being greeted with a warm, gentle breeze from the furnace, you’re startled by the sound of an earsplitting, hair-raising screech.

Your first thought is probably, “That sounds expensive.”

A screeching heater is unnerving. However, most of the time, it’s a simple fix that requires a bit of expert knowledge and skilled hands to repair. It’s not a sound that you want to turn up the TV and ignore, though—the longer your heater screeches, the more you risk costly damage.

Let’s take a look at the most common causes of a screeching or squealing heater.

Blower Motor Failure

Your furnace’s blower motor creates a lot of force—blowing enough air to warm the whole home is a tough job. While blower motors are engineered for the job, like any other machine, the parts will wear down over time with use. When this happens, these parts can literally “scream” for help—that’s the squealing or screeching noise you’re hearing.

  • First, it could be the blower motor bearings. As the lubricating oil breaks down with wear, the bearings can seize up and ultimately fail. When the bearings can’t move freely, they can emit a loud, unsettling screeching noise.
  • The screeching could be coming from the blower wheel. An out of balance blower wheel will cause noise, vibration, and over time ruin the bearings on the motor. A loud screeching sound can result from metal pieces rubbing together.

An expert furnace technician can find and fix the root cause of the blower motor problem. If you hear a screeching sound from your furnace, don’t put off the call. In many cases, a simple fix (like lubricating the motor bearings) can prevent further damage and costly repairs.

Regular furnace maintenance, like an annual tune-up, can spot potential problems with the blower motor and keep it in good repair.

Is a screeching heater keeping you up at night?

Serving the Greater Chicago area, Althoff Industries can help you rest easy knowing your home will be warm when the temperature drops. Your heater’s screeching is a cry for help—call us at 800-225-2443.

This information is provided as a general guideline. Althoff Industries does not assume any liability resulting from the provided information.

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