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Serving The Northland

Serving the Northland


Mesaba Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

Noises Your Furnace Should Be Making


A lot of focus is put on noticing and diagnosing the sounds that your furnace shouldn’t be making. However, that’s much easier to do if you know exactly which sounds it should be making. Only by familiarizing yourself with the normal noises that mean your furnace is operating properly can you be aware of the sounds that are different and indicate that there’s a problem.

So what noises should your furnace be making? Here’s a handy list of the basic sounds that signal that all is well with your heating system.


This is the sound your furnace makes during a heating cycle. It should be steady and constant, turning off when the target temperature is reached and turning on again once the temperature has dropped enough to trigger another heating cycle. 


This is the sound of the fans that push heated air from your furnace through your ductwork. Again, the sound should be steady. Some heating systems have fans that run constantly, some only run during heating cycles, and some can be adjusted.

Increased Noise During First Use of the Year

This is also normal, but it should not last very long. Think of it as an athlete limbering up during the first event after an off-season.

Switching Gears

Your furnace doesn’t actually switch gears, but if it has multiple settings, it may make more noise briefly as it adjusts to the new setting. 


Some furnaces have mechanical or electrical systems which make occasional chirping sounds. As long as it’s not constant or alarmingly loud, this is perfectly fine.


When a heating cycle stops, the furnace sometimes makes a crackling noise. This is caused by metal components contracting as they cool down because heat has made them expand. This is simply a fact of physics and not a cause for concern. 


When your heater is working right, then it should pump air evenly throughout your home. This will create a telltale whoosh of air that you can hear.

Getting Familiar

Paying more attention to the regular sounds of your furnace operating will help you to distinguish when there is a problematic sound. In general, noises that are mild and consistent are not likely to indicate a problem. You should reach out to a professional if you hear noises that are loud, sudden, or very different from the customary melody of your furnace in Cohasset, MN.

Worrisome Noises

Some sounds that can indicate a serious problem are banging, crashing, clattering, buzzing, hissing, or screeching. One sound in particular that you should address immediately is hissing. If your heat exchanger is cracked, a hissing noise is likely to be the first sign of a big problem. This is the part of your furnace that keeps combustion gasses separate from the air you breathe, so a crack can lead to carbon monoxide leaking into your home. Call for service right away.

Reach out to Mesaba Heating & Air Conditioning today for all your home heating needs. Service to you is success to us!

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