A good heating system can make your home the coziest it can be during the winter. If your New Orleans heating system is making a rattling noise, it’s not only irritating — it might be a sign that something’s wrong. Here are a few of the reasons your system might be rattling:

Your Outdoor Unit Is Rattling

If the sound is coming from your outdoor unit, it may mean that there is some debris rattling around in your system. It could be any number of small items that make their way through the protective grate, such as twigs or toys your kids might have slipped through the vents. You could turn your system off and clear the debris yourself, but since it may have caused damage to the components inside the unit, it’s advisable to make an appointment with an HVAC technician to clear it and check on the unit’s health.

Your Pipes May Be Warped

Sometimes a bad noise means your system needs to be replaced. But sometimes, you just need to make an adjustment to your current one to fix the noise.

If your rattling noise is coming from inside the house, it could mean that your pipes have become warped over time and use. As the pipes in your heating system heat, they expand. Over time, this expanding and contracting can cause them to warp. When this happens, they may eventually not fit the structures holding them in place, and the pipes may be vibrating against them.

Something Has Fallen Into Your Vents

This is one of the easiest causes of rattling sounds to identify. If you hear rattling coming from just outside the vents in your floor, it may be that something has fallen through the vent. Coins, screws, toys, earrings — anything that’s small enough to fit through the vent could rattle around and make sounds when your heating system is running. You can either remove the vents (after you’ve turned off your HVAC system) and try to look for the item yourself, or you can schedule a thorough vent-cleaning from your local HVAC technician.

Something Is Broken in Your System

If the sound is metallic and coming directly from your HVAC unit, it could mean that there is a part that’s broken and it’s clanging or scraping against other components in your system. If this sounds like your issue, avoid using your system entirely and call a technician right away. The broken part could damage other parts and cause even more damage to your system.

There’s Something Loose

The sound may be coming from a loose piece of equipment. A panel or screw in your heater may have come loose and is now rattling as your house heats. We recommend calling a technician to come and inspect the unit to make sure everything is where it’s supposed to be.

You Have a Cracked Heat Exchanger

This is possibly the most dangerous cause of rattling sound. Your system’s heat exchanger could be cracked, which can cause a carbon monoxide leak in your home. If you hear the rattling sound before the blower comes on, it’s a good sign that you may have a damaged heat exchanger. Call a professional immediately if you think this might be the cause of your rattle.

What Can I Do About These Problems?

Our number-one piece of advice we like to give is to schedule routine maintenance checkups. These checkups help keep your HVAC systems in good health. A good time to schedule your checkup is before winter hits. A skilled technician can ensure that your system is running at its best and they can stop rattling sounds before they ever have a chance to happen.

But sometimes these problems happen, whether you schedule these checkups or not. Unfortunately, solving these problems takes a little bit of specialized knowledge about how heating systems work. You can try to identify and fix the problems yourself, but if you want to make sure the job is done well, it’s better to contact your local HVAC technician.

If you want to make the rattling stop, schedule a maintenance visit with our team at Bryans United Air Conditioning today. Give us a call at 504-208-2071 to make your heating system run and sound like new.

Image provided by Shutterstock

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