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Grinding, Squealing and Screeching: Interpreting the Noises Your HVAC Makes

If something is failing or going amiss with your HVAC unit, chances are, your HVAC unit is letting you know something is not quite right. However, most of the cues come in the form of sounds that many of us may overlook. If you hear your HVAC unit grinding, squealing, screeching or squeaking, it is letting you know it needs help. I was unaware of these cues and overlooked them. It ended up costing me a lot of money in repairs. I want to make sure that does not happen to other people, so I made this website. I hope you learn how to interpret the noises your HVAC unit is making so you can get it the repairs it needs before you incur a costly repair, or worse, permanently ruin your unit for good.

Grinding, Squealing and Screeching: Interpreting the Noises Your HVAC Makes

Heater Stopped Working During A Cold Snap? Here Are 3 Things To Check

by Billie Carlson

A brutal cold snap is the time when you most need your home's furnace to cooperate. But mechanical objects don't always work the way we want. If your heater has suddenly stopped working, there are a few quick checks you can make before you break down and call for a furnace service or repair.

Change the Thermostat Battery

Start by changing the thermostat battery. It doesn't matter if it doesn't seem like it's dead because the temperature is still showing up on the screen. The battery can have enough juice to power that output but not enough juice to actually operate the furnace.

Take the old battery with you to the hardware store to ensure you buy the right kind. Install the new battery in the thermostat, set your desired temperature, and wait a little while to see if the heater will kick on. If it does, you've solved your problem. If it doesn't, you can keep troubleshooting.

Check the Flame Sensor

If you have a gas heater, there's a device called a flame sensor that hangs over the pilot light. The sensor shuts off the gas if the pilot light goes out so that you aren't wasting gas. But sometimes the sensor malfunctions or, more likely, becomes so dirty that it can't properly read if the pilot light is on.

Turn off all electricity to the furnace, unscrew and remove the top and look inside to locate the pilot light. The bar-shaped device attached to the pilot light is the flame sensor. Clean that gently with fine sandpaper or a steel brush, close everything back up, then restore both the electricity and the pilot light. Turn your heat back up and wait to see if it comes on.

Clear the Exterior Vent

If you've recently had a big snow or ice storm, you will want to check to see that the furnace vent outside your home isn't blocked. This vent is important in helping the furnace regulate temperatures and rid your home of hazardous carbon monoxide.

Not sure where the vent is outside your home? Simply walk around the house looking for a pipe that sticks up along the wall. The pipe sort of looks like a periscope. Check the opening of the pipe to see if there's any accumulations or blockages. Knock off any snow with your gloved hand and chip away any ice with the gentle usage of a screwdriver.

Make these three checks as quickly as possible and after you've already called a furnace repair person. It's better to have help on the way then freeze while you slowly rule out all of these problems and figure out it's something more serious.

Go to websites about furnace repair for more tips.