Question? Just ask us!
Free Encyclopedia of Building & Environmental Inspection, Testing, Diagnosis, Repair
InspectAPedia ® Home
AFUE DEFINITION, RATINGS
AGE of AIR CONDITIONERS & HEAT PUMPS
AGE of HEATERS, BOILERS, FURNACES
AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP SYSTEMS
AIR FILTERS for HVAC SYSTEMS
AIR HANDLER / BLOWER UNITS
AIRBOUND HEAT SYSTEM REPAIR by WATER FEED VALVE
ANODES & DIP TUBES on WATER HEATERS
ANTIFREEZE for BOILERS
ANTI SCALD VALVES
APPLIANCE DIAGNOSIS & REPAIR
APPLIANCE EFFICIENCY RATINGS
ASBESTOS IDENTIFICATION IN BUILDINGS
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BACKFLOW PREVENTERS, HEAT
BACKDRAFTING HEATING EQUIPMENT
BACKUP HEAT for HEAT PUMPS
BIO-FUEL PRODUCTION & USE
BLOWER DOORS & AIR INFILTRATION
BLOWER FAN CONTINUOUS OPERATION
BLOWER FAN OPERATION & TESTING
BLUE vs YELLOW COMBUSTION FLAMES
BOILER PRESSURE & TEMPERATURE SETTINGS
BOOKSTORE - InspectAPedia
BTU USAGE MONITORS
BUILDING SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
CAPACITORS for HARD STARTING MOTORS
CARBON DIOXIDE - CO2
CARBON MONOXIDE - CO
CHEMICAL TREATMENTS for BOILERS
CHIMNEY INSPECTION DIAGNOSIS REPAIR
CHIMNEYS & FLUES, ASBESTOS TRANSITE PIPE
CHINESE DRYWALL HAZARDS
CIRCULATOR PUMPS & RELAYS
COOL OFF HEAT, THERMOSTAT SWITCH
COMBUSTION AIR for TIGHT BUILDINGS
COMBUSTION GASES & PARTICLE HAZARDS
COMBUSTION PRODUCTS & IAQ
COMPLETE COMBUSTION, STOICHIOMETRIC
CREOSOTE FIRE HAZARDS
CURVED BRICK CHIMNEYS, SULPHATION
CONDENSING BOILERS/FURNACES DAMAGE
CONVECTOR HEATERS - HYDRONIC COILS
DEFINITION of HEATING & COOLING TERMS
DIAGNOSTIC GUIDES A/C / HEAT PUMP
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-BOILER
DIAGNOSE & FIX HEATING PROBLEMS-FURNACE
DIRECT VENTS / SIDE WALL VENTS
DIRECTORY of OIL TANK EXPERTS
DRAFT HOOD, GAS HEATER
DRAFT MEASUREMENT, CHIMNEYS & FLUES
DRAFT REGULATOR, DAMPER, BOOSTER
DUCT SYSTEM & DUCT DEFECTS
DUST, HVAC CONTAMINATION STUDY
DUST SAMPLING PROCEDURE
ELECTRIC MOTOR DIAGNOSTIC GUIDE
ELECTRIC MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
ELECTRICAL POWER SWITCH FOR HEAT
EVAPORATIVE COOLING SYSTEMS
FAN, AIR HANDLER BLOWER UNIT
FAN AUTO ON THERMOSTAT SWITCH
FAN, COMPRESSOR/CONDENSER UNIT
FAN CONVECTOR HEATERS - HYDRONIC COILS
FAN LIMIT SWITCH
FAN NOISES, HVAC
FILTERS, AIR for HVAC SYSTEMS
FILTERS, OIL on HEATING EQUIPMENT
FIRE SAFETY CONTROLS
FIREPLACES & HEARTHS
FLAME COLOR, BLUE vs YELLOW COMBUSTION
FLOODED HEATING EQUIPMENT REPAIR
FLOODED WATER HEATER REPAIR
FLUE SIZE SPECIFICATIONS
FLUE VENT CONNECTORS
FREEZE-PROOF A BUILDING
FUEL OIL TYPES & CHARACTERISTICS
FUEL UNIT, HEATING OIL PUMPS
GALVANIC SCALE & METAL CORROSION
GAS BURNER FLAME & NOISE DEFECTS
GAS FIRED WATER HEATERS
GAS PIPING, VALVES, CONTROLS
GAUGES ON HEATING EQUIPMENT
GEOTHERMAL HEATING SYSTEMS
HEAT EXCHANGER LEAK TEST
HEAT LOSS in BUILDINGS
HEAT LOSS DETECTION TOOLS
HEAT LOSS INDICATORS
HEAT LOSS PREVENTION PRIORITIES
HEAT LOSS R U & K VALUE CALCULATION
HEAT PUMPS, DIAGNOSIS, REPAIR
HEAT TAPES & CABLES for ROOF ICE DAMS
HEATING COST FUEL & BTU COST TABLES
HEATING COST SAVINGS METHODS
HEATING LOSS DIAGNOSIS-BOILERS
HEATING LOSS DIAGNOSIS-FURNACES
HEATING OIL CLOUD WAX GEL POINT
HEATING OIL EXPOSURE HAZARDS, LIMITS
HEATING OIL - OLD, USEABLE?
HEATING OIL PIPING TROUBLES
HEATING OIL SHELF LIFE
HEATING OIL SLUDGE
HEATING OIL USAGE RATE
HEATING SMALL LOADS
HEATING SYSTEM INSPECT DIAGNOSE REPAIR
HEATING SYSTEM INSPECTION DETAILS
HEATING SYSTEM NOISE DIAGNOSIS
HEATING SYSTEM TYPES
HIGH EFFICIENCY BOILERS/FURNACES
HOT WATER HEATERS
HOT WATER IMPROVEMENT
INSULATION INSPECTION & IMPROVEMENT
LOW VOLTAGE BUILDING WIRING
LOW VOLTAGE TRANSFORMER TEST
GAS LP & NATURAL GAS SAFETY HAZARDS
MANUALS & PARTS GUIDES - HVAC
MIXING / ANTI-SCALD VALVES
MOTOR OVERLOAD RESET SWITCH
NATURAL GAS COMBUSTION PRODUCTS
NO HEAT - BOILER
NO HEAT - FURNACE
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
NOISE AIR CONDITIONER / HEAT PUMP
NOISE, DUCT VIBRATION DAMPENERS
NOISE, HEATING SYSTEMS
NOISE, WATER HEATER
ODORS FROM HEATING SYSTEMS
OIL BURNER FUEL UNIT
OIL BURNER INSPECTION & REPAIR
OIL BURNER NOISE SMOKE ODORS
OIL BURNER NOZZLE & ELECTRODES
OIL BURNERS, RETENTION HEAD
OIL BURNER SOOT & PUFFBACKS
OIL FILTERS on HEATING EQUIPMENT
OIL FILTER MISSING
OIL FUEL TYPES & CHARACTERISTICS
OIL HEAT FIRE SAFETY CONTROLS
OIL LINE CLOGGING FIX
OIL LINE QUICK STOP VALVES
OIL LINE SAFETY VALVES, OSVs
OIL FILL PIPE LEAKS
OIL PUMP FUEL UNIT
OIL SPILL CLEANUP / PREVENTION
PLASTIC PLEXVENT ULTRAVENT RECALL
PULSE COMBUSTION HEATERS
PRESSURE REDUCING VALVES
PRESSURE REGULATOR, WATER
PUFFBACKS, OIL BURNER
PUMPS, PONY PUMPS
RADIANT HEAT FLOOR MISTAKES
RADIANT HEAT TEMPERATURES
RADIANT SLAB FLOORING CHOICES
RADIANT SLAB TUBING & FLUID CHOICES
REFRIGERANTS & PIPING
RELIEF VALVE LEAKS
RELIEF VALVE, TP VALVE, BOILER
RELIEF VALVE, TP VALVE, STEAM BOILER
RELIEF VALVE, WATER HEATER
RELIEF VALVE, WATER TANK
RESET SWITCH, HEATER PRIMARY CONTROL
RESET SWITCH, HEATER REPAIR
RESET SWITCH, ELECTRIC MOTOR
RESET SWITCH, STACK RELAY
SAFETY HAZARDS & INSPECTIONS
SAFETY HAZARDS GUIDE
SAFETY, HEATING INSPECTION
SAFETY RECALLS CHIMNEYS VENTS HEATERS
SOLAR HEATING SYSTEM DESIGNS
SOLAR HOT WATER HEATERS
SOOT on OIL FIRED HEATING EQUIPMENT
SPILL SWITCH, FLUE GAS DETECTOR
SPLIT SYSTEM AIR CONDITIONERS & HEAT PUMPS
STACK RELAY SWITCHES
STAIN DIAGNOSIS on BUILDING INTERIORS
STEAM HEATING SYSTEMS
THERMAL EXPANSION CRACKS in BRICK
THERMAL EXPANSION of HOT WATER
THERMAL EXPANSION of MATERIALS
THERMAL IMAGING, THERMOGRAPHY
THERMAL IMAGING MOLD SCANS
THERMAL MASS in BUILDINGS
THERMAL TRACKING & HEAT LOSS
THERMOSTATS, HEATING / COOLING
TRANSITE PIPE CHIMNEYS & FLUES
VIDEO GUIDES: HEATING SYSTEMS
VIDEO GUIDES - InspectAPedia.com
WATER HEATER SAFETY
WATER HEATERS for HOME HEATING USE?
WATER HEATER NOISE DIAGNOSIS, CURE
WATER HEATER SCALE DE-LIMING PROCEDURE
WATER HEATER SCALE PREVENTION
WINTERIZE A BUILDING
WOOD-OIL COMBINATION HEATERS
WOOD STOVE OPERATION & SAFETY
ZONE VALVES, HEATING
Diagnosing heating equipment noises:
This noise control article discusses the diagnosis and cure of heating system noises, including heating equipment noise, heat piping or ductwork noises, radiator noises, steam pipe banging, and steam radiator vent noise control.
We describe just about every single noise that might come from or have to do with building heating systems.
We describe the heating system noise, where that noise usually originates, and what to do about it.
Green links show where you are. © Copyright 2015 InspectApedia.com, All Rights Reserved.
Curing or controlling noises traced to building heating systems is divided naturally into two topics that should to be addressed in this order:
Watch out: while adding sound control barriers and insulation around a mechanical room be sure that you do not interfere with proper combustion air supply or you risk making the heating system work poorly or you may make it unsafe, risking carbon monoxide production and even death.
Examples of steps that reduce noise transmission from heating systems include
HVAC Duct noises: review and fix loose HVAC duct components, check that vibrations from the mechanical systems are not being picked up and carried through the building by metal duct vibration.
HVAC Ducts & Privacy: Sound from any source can also be transmitted between building areas through the ductwork itself. The author, politely smooching his girl friend in her family basement rec-room,was jolted by her father's sudden loud voice: "Joanne! time to come upstairs!!" - her dad just shouted down through the air ducts into the basement, leaving the couple to wonder if their private sounds had been transmitted up to Joanne's parents' bedroom.
Oil piping vibration transmission: as we cite at Heating System Noise Cause Diagnosis Articles, clamping heating oil piping to the underside of floor joists converts the floor above to a speaker cone to transmit vibrations from the oil burner into the space above.
Mechanical room sound isolation: once specific sound sources have been addressed, what remains is the isolation of mechanical room sounds from the rest of the building. See the sound control articles beginning at NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
Heating systems and building heat as a source of indoor noises and sounds include air bubbling in piping, shrieks (bearings), bangs (puffbacks), rumbling (air noise, mechanical noise), grinding noises, and other mechanical noises.
Troubleshooting Noisy mechanical system components and moving parts
Troubleshooting heating system noises traced to chimneys and vents
Troubleshooting heating system noises traced to thermal expansion/contraction
In this NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE article series we discuss how to locate the source of, identify and correct various building sounds and noises indoors or on occasion, noises from outside that penetrate indoors at annoying levels.
Continue reading at AIR CONDITIONING & HEAT PUMP NOISES or select a topic from the More Reading links shown below.
Suggested citation for this web page
Green link shows where you are in this article series.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Reader Question: (July 11, 2012) vanessa said: Hello, Our brand new home with American Standard thermostat control display unit make a loud "popping" sound when activated for the a/c. Slightly less when it goes off. We've had the contractor/builder, electrician and HVAC guy out and they say there isn't anything to do. "All these low voltage thermostats make this noise." This is the first time in a slew of homes we have owned that this is an issue. Is this an issue? Should we be concerned? Should we have an independent HVAC company out to review the system prior to our one year warranty with the builder expires. Any help would be grateful..... Thanks, V
Vanessa, I suggest noting the brand and model of your thermostat and then giving the manufacturer a call. Or send us a photo of the thermostat along with its brand and model number and we'll research it further. Most thermostats in homes use low voltage wiring at which electricall-generated noises would be unusual. If your thermostat is a 120V model, an unsafe electrical short or electrical arcing could be the problem. But for this question and with no more information we can't second guess your onsite people, but loud popping from a thermostat sounds unusual to me and I imagine that the manufacturer would like to know about it and would have some advice for you. Keep us posted on what you're told - what you learn will help other readers.
Question: chirping noises in my new house
(July 16, 2012) Bill said:
Reply: check your smoke or CO detectors
Bill, you might want to go back to our root noise diagnosis article beginning at
NOISE / SOUND DIAGNOSIS & CURE
article link is at page left.
Chirping as you describe is often traded to a smoke detector that was stuck somewhere not obvious. Look also for a CO detector that someone may have just plugged into a wall receptacle somewhere.
Question: no heat until I push on wires at the zone valve
(Oct 8, 2012) Everett said:
I think you want to see the troubleshooting help found at
Question: sparking noises at the heater
(Apr 3, 2013) kev said:
Kev take a look at the diagnosis and repair advicve at
Watch out: if your gas appliance is not igniting and working normally it may be unsafe; in that case shut it off and call your heating service company for inspection and repair.
Question: heating baseboard noises, ticking clicking noises from heat piping
(Feb 4, 2014) Anonymous said:
(Mar 2, 2014) Mumtaz said:
Question: noise from outdoor furnace: Raytherm Raypack 133 furnace
(Mar 5, 2014) Anonymous said:
My circulator pump runs 24/7 and I recently just replaced it, so I know it can't be that. The noise I hear is a quick 2 second noise that happens right before the furnace turns on. I'm not sure if it can possibly be some type of valve that might be broken inside and that's rattling or perhaps something else? Can someone please help me. I will try to make a video and post it on youtube... will post the link once I get that done.
Anon we'll be glad to look at your video, even copy it at InspectApedia to invite further comment if that's helpful.
A first step might be to try to isolate the noise to a specific component. One can do this by careful observation at equipment start-up or by employing a mechanic's stethoscope or even a simple short length of pipe to check and listen to different device.
Another approach is to ask what device operate at the start of a heating cycle. Examples include:
- an automatic barometric damper or flue damper that operates before the burner comes on
Keep us posted and we'll pursue it.
Question: train sounds when furnace shuts off
(Nov 19, 2014) Kathleen said:
Watch out: Since a train like sound can indicate a chimney fire I would turn off the system and call your heating service company for emergency service.
If the noise continues AFTER you turn off power to your heater you should leave the home and call the fire department.
Hopefully the issue is something else.
Question: water hammer noises in heat piping
(Dec 26, 2014) Robin said:
Robin it would be odd for adding finish materials to directly impact plumbing though I suppose it might re-direct sounds a bit. I'd take a look at our water-hammer diagnosis and repair advice at
Question: buzzing noise from electric heat vent
(Jan 9, 2015) Anonymous said:
If we assume the noise is related to the operation of equipment, try turning off individual appliances or circuits one by one to narrow down the source. I'm not sure if you are hearing a relay buzz, a control buzz, a fan motor buzz, or loose ductwork rattling.
Question: loud bang from expanding metal in propane fireplace
25 January 2015 Sandi said:
OPINION: I would indeed ask for a careful inspection by a certified chimney sweep or fireplace installer (not your dealer), and I would also give a call to the manufacturer of your fireplace heater - or give us the brand and model of your heater and we'll also research this question.
Watch out: While some metal expansion noises may be normal, I'm concerned that flexing of metal components might ultimately cause cracking that could create a fire or carbon monoxide hazard.
Questions & answers or comments about how to diagnose and fix heating system noises, rattles, bangs, hisses, clanking, and other sounds.
Use the "Click to Show or Hide FAQs" link just above to see recently-posted questions, comments, replies, try the search box just below, or if you prefer, post a question or comment in the Comments box below and we will respond promptly.
Search the InspectApedia website
HTML Comment Box is loading comments...
Technical Reviewers & References