What if My Furnace Clicks?

South End Plumbing, Heating, & Air Expert Tips

What if My Furnace Clicks?

It’s common, sometimes fine, sometimes not fine, for a furnace to make noises. There’s a hum you can hear the whole time it’s running. Pay attention though to odd or different noises like, what if the furnace clicks? This could be an indication the heating system needs attention. A repeated clicking sound from your furnace is one such thing to pay attention to.

Reasons a Furnace could be Clicking Include:

  • A pilot light problem – Over time, the pilot light and the assembly around it can become loose, dirty, bent or even broken. The pilot light might partially work or go out entirely. A clicking sound could be coming from the system’s electrical wiring. It could be a broken fire sensor, ignition problems to the pilot, a gas problem or another malfunction.
  • A loose inducer – Oil-powered heating furnaces utilize a motor-powered fan, or an inducer, to push out smoke and fumes. A loose fan may make a clicking noise. Clicking can also occur if residue or gunk builds up on the fan blades. It’s smart to let an expert take care of cleansing or adjusting the fan.
  • Worn motor parts – A furnace has ball bearings in the electric motor. They will click or make a squealing sound when they become worn. If you think this is the issue, cut off the furnace immediately and call a professional ASAP. Leaving the issue unaddressed will make the electric motor burn out and cause much more damage and expense.
  • A gas valve problem – If the clicking noise doesn’t have a pattern, it might be an issue with the gas valve. If this is the problem, the repair is replacing a gas meter. By law, a gas company employee must do this work.
Over time, the pilot light and the assembly around it can become loose, dirty, bent or even broken.
Over time, the pilot light and the assembly around it can become loose, dirty, bent or even broken.

Could it be the Ignition System?

Your furnace could be clicking from the furnace’s spark igniter firing, and having to fire over and over again. A repeated clicking could mean a system failure. This situation is very bad when it happens in the middle of the winter. It’s also an issue only an expert technician can safely handle.

The ignition system in a furnace functions like the ignition system in a car. If your ignition system stops working your heating system will not start.

Let’s look at the procedure of how a furnace starts. This will provide you a better grasp of what the ignition system does.

1. The thermostat detects the temperature is cooler than what’s set on it.
2. The fan motor turns on and begins pulling air to the burner.
3. The ignition system waits about one minute to start.
4. The gas valves open.
5. The furnace burner light.
6. The blower, after a delay, starts again to send the heated air through the house.

The step where the ignition system starts is failing and the clicking is the igniter repeatedly trying to start.

Why is my Furnace Blowing Cold Air?

If you notice cool air blowing from the ducts up in your house, below are some troubleshooting steps you may take before turning to an expert for help:

Replace the Air Filter

If it’s been more than a month since you last changed the heating system’s air filter, right now is a great time to change it. Dirt and other junk trapped within the filter could be restricting air movement, making the heating system to get too hot. This leads to triggering the safety and security control, or limitation switch, which turns off the burners. Because of this, the blower continues to blow cool air to cool off the heater. An old and dirty air filter, then causing the chain reaction through the whole system, will eventually damage the heat exchanger, leading to an expensive repair service.

Check the Thermostat

If your house seems warm, but you feel cool air coming from the registers, take a look at the thermostat’s settings. It should be set to “Auto” and not “On.” “On” mode will make the system continually blow air, even if it’s not heating up the air.

Pilot Light Troubles

Relight the furnace’s pilot burner if you see it’s out. If you don’t feel comfortable doing this job, call a professional. If the pilot light is out and it cannot light, gas might not be streaming into the unit. Verify that the gas valve switch goes to the “On” setting. If it is on, the pilot light may be dirty or damaged. If this is the case, call an expert for recommendations on cleaning it.

In some instances, a furnace putting out cool air requires professional service. Such causes include:

Pilot Light Doesn’t Stay Lit

If pilot light troubleshooting ideas are not working and the flame doesn’t remain lit, the thermocouple may require to be adjusted, changed or replaced.

Duct Leaks

When ductwork has holes, it will send warm air into empty spaces of your house; like into the attic. In a similar way, cold air from the vacant spaces could go into the ductwork and this is what blows into your actual rooms of the house. You will need a duct inspection to solve this problem.

Clogged Condensate Drain Lines

High-efficiency furnaces have condensate drain lines that get rid of water during the home heating cycle. If the line becomes clogged, it can set off a safety trigger in the system that keeps the furnace from relighting.

At South End Heating and Air we specialize in HVAC and furnace repair, call us for a free consult. We’ll evaluate your system and help make recommendations for optimum value. After all, we want to keep you cool all summer long and warm in the winter. Just schedule a visit with one of our technicians to talk about how we can help with your heating needs. Would you like to learn more options our techs can help you with? Give us a call 704-684-5339.

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