Buzzing and Clicking: A Heating Problem


Sometimes, heaters can make noises that sound simple or harmless, but they can really be an intricate problem affecting one or more components of the system. A booming gas furnace, for instance, sounds really bad when a good cleaning of the components might do the trick to alleviate it. Whereas a clicking or buzzing heating system might have a broken electrical component, or a capacitor that’s worn out, which requires professional support.

We’re not saying that electrical component failures are common or that they’re worse than other issues, just that there’s a time and a place to call for professional heating repair in Greenfield, IN, and this might be one of them!

Let’s talk about these noises and why they’re especially bad to discover when you’re trying to turn on your heating system. Just don’t panic: a technician has all the right tools and experience to fix these kinds of issues.

The Big Issue With Buzzing

A buzzing sound is one that we often match with electrical devices. If you close your eyes and imagine your computer or television buzzing, you’d immediately think there was something wrong with it. That’s because buzzing is usually the discharge of excess energy as it doesn’t have a place to go. In the case of a malfunctioning heating system, it’s still getting electricity, but the electricity won’t get to the necessary components because of a failure in the unit.

So, first of all, we’d recommend calling for a professional right off the bat before you try to look at the interior components of your heating system, regardless of whether it’s a heat pump or a furnace. This is for two reasons:

  1. You might void the system’s warranty by opening it up and trying to sort out the problem. Warranties contain specific clauses that require only licensed technicians to work on them.
  2. These problems can often be difficult to diagnose from a homeowner’s perspective. You don’t want to order a part or start working on it, only to find out that it’s the wrong section or you’ve spent money on a completely unnecessary component.

Clicking: Good or Bad?

Now let’s move on to clicking. You’ve heard your system click when it turns on or off, but how about frequent clicking? Is that good or bad?

Well, frequent clicking is often bad because it signals one of two things: either your system is short cycling and running in frequent, short bursts that are bad for the unit, or the capacitor is damaged.

A normal clicking sound is created when the thermostat signals to the capacitor to start running. Then, another click signals it’s to shut down once the temperature setting has been reached. If it’s clicking repeatedly, something is interrupting that communication and your system can’t work properly.

No Sounds at All

Uh oh, does your system not make any noises at all? Well, be sure to check that it’s on and running. If not, then you’ve likely got a broken down system that needs support. We won’t be able to tell you what’s wrong until we get a good look at it, but a heating unit should at least make some kind of gentle humming or whooshing as it works correctly.


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