Hearing Pops and Bangs in Your Ducts? Here’s Why

duct noisesThe sudden appearance of duct noises can be startling, especially during the winter when heating systems become essential. Though the pops and bangs coming from your ducts may be frightening, there’s a good chance that they don’t signify any major problem with your heating system.

Air ducts are made from thin metal folded into circular, rectangular or square tubes. When the furnace starts up, it sends a blast of warm air through the ducts, causing that metal to heat up, along with a quick pressure change. This expansion or pressure change is often the cause of the noises homeowners may hear from ducts.

Normal Duct Noises

The pops and bangs from duct expansion and pressure frequently begin just after a professional duct cleaning, which leads many homeowners to believe that some sort of damage was done during the process. This is rarely the case. The issue is often simply that the air flows from the furnace without obstruction now that dust and debris has been removed, and the furnace is running more efficiently. Without all that grime getting in the way, the warm air is flowing into the ducts more quickly and with more force, causing pressure and expansion that weren’t there when the system was more sluggish.

When to Worry

Though duct noises are usually benign, in some rare cases the sounds are indicative of a furnace problem. Over time, the burner elements of gas furnaces can become clogged or corroded and have trouble igniting. If this is the case, the noise will be coming from the furnace itself rather than the ducts. It occurs a few seconds after the heat is turned on, as the chamber fills with gas and the ignition eventually sparks, lighting the gas around it. This can be a dangerous issue, so contact an HVAC professional if loud noises are coming directly from your furnace.

For more expert advice about duct noises and other HVAC concerns in your Chicago home, contact the professionals at Hollub, Inc. today. We’ve been serving the Chicago area’s heating and cooling needs since 1928.

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