If your furnace is suddenly making a loud squeaking noise, you're right to be concerned. A change in the way your furnace sounds or smells could indicate trouble that needs immediate attention. If you hear squeaking when the furnace fan kicks on, the problem could be with the belt or the bearings in the blower motor. Here's a look at these furnace problems and how they're repaired.
Repairing A Squeaky Belt
Your furnace may not have a belt if it is fairly new. If you still have an old furnace, then it's possible it has a belt, and if it hasn't been serviced or changed in a long time, it could be the source of the problem. An HVAC technician will open up your furnace and examine the belt if there is one. If the belt is too loose or frayed, it can squeak. This gives you warning it's time to replace the belt before it breaks and your furnace stops working. However, it isn't always necessary to change the belt. It the belt looks okay, then lubricating it could be the solution. Lubricating the belt is one thing an HVAC tech might do when your furnace has its annual tuneup, so having regular service calls might prevent problems with a furnace belt.
Replacing Bad Bearings
If your furnace doesn't have a belt, the unusual noises may be coming from bad bearings. When the bearings go bad, they need to be replaced. This requires an HVAC technician since the blower motor has to be opened up to get to the bearings. The technician may be able to tell by the sound if bearings are to blame or if there's a problem with the fan cage or blades. If a blade is scraping against something, it may make a clicking or scratching noise. Since the problem is likely to be in the blower or blower motor somewhere, the technician may check the entire assembly to make sure all the parts are operating properly.
The blower and motor are essential parts of your furnace, and a variety of things can go wrong with them. Even if you have no idea what's wrong, you know when your furnace sounds different, and that is enough reason to have the problem investigated and repaired. While it might be inconvenient to call for furnace repairs, it is even more inconvenient when your furnace stops working completely. Having timely repairs is important for the longevity of your furnace. Plus, if your furnace isn't working right, it may not keep your home warm even if the furnace runs constantly. So, calling for furnace repairs when you hear squeaking or other odd noises is important.