How To Spot the Cause of Household Noises

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If you’re in your home right now, stop what you’re doing and listen. Now, listen a little more closely. What can you hear? Have you noticed that there are sounds in the background of your home but have never stopped to question where they actually come from? It’s an easy thing to do; a constant noise in the home can become so ingrained in the ambiance that it falls, essentially, on deaf ears.

Yet, now that you know there are noises within the household, it’s best to determine their source. They could be nothing more than the buzz of a faulty lightbulb, or a console left on standby, but if you aren’t certain, then you should definitely check it out. You could have a more serious problem on your hands.

Squealing, Scraping, Rattling, or Banging

If you have noticed any of these strange noises within the home, then you need to be a little more meticulous in your investigations. In many instances, it’s likely that these are noises coming from your furnace, and as such, the whole home’s HVAC system will need a proper evaluation. The HVAC (which stands for heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) units are located all throughout the household, which means that there is a lot of ground to cover.

However, it’s best to focus on the furnace first. It’s a good idea to get a professional opinion on this, but with Covid-19 still causing havoc on businesses, you can at least start your investigations into the cause of strange noises if they are emanating from the central heating system. If you have determined that it is furnace noise that you can hear, then the next stage is to accurately define it. Different strange noises have different meanings, and therefore, different causes. A squealing sound, similar to that which cars sometimes make, is usually the result of a fan belt or loose blower belt. Normally, these can be remedied with grease, to keep them running smoothly. A closely sounding scraping noise, like metal scraping across metal, will be indicative of a problem with the blower wheel. A clicking noise or rattling noise points towards the blower wheel again, but it could also be a faulty ignition, and low rumbling noise is possibly a fault with the burner.

These sounds are a suggestion of what the problem is. Under no circumstances should you try and fix the problem yourself. Not only is it incredibly difficult, but it is potentially dangerous. The last sound you’ll want to hear coming from that burner is a loud bang, and you certainly don’t want a siren following it!


Let it be known that if you hear gurgling in the home, then you have a dirty job on your hands. Unfortunately, a gurgling sound usually denotes a blocked pipe, specifically something being stuck in the home’s sewage system. That’s right–– something that should never be flushed, has been, and now it’s stopping the wastewater of the home from leaving. You’ll most likely need a plumber before you end up with a burst pipe or a leak, and certainly before human waste starts to emerge…

Then, put a sign up in the bathroom that discourages anyone from flushing paper towels instead of toilet paper, and other materials that don’t wash away, or else it will happen again.

Humming and/or Sneezing

Back with the HVAC system, the strange noise you hear might not indicate a problem directly, but it can point you towards it. If you have been hearing a lot of humming or low rumbling from the furnace, then it is likely running at a higher rate than usual. However, if you’re still cold, then it’s overcompensating for moisture in the air. This isn’t good, as heated moisture becomes humidity, and higher humidity in the home is potentially detrimental to your own or your family member’s health. Often a breeding ground for viruses and bacteria, humidity also brings out allergies or––even worse––respiratory problems.

Higher indoor humidity has even been suggested as related to the spread of the coronavirus. In this case, though it is the furnace making more noise, the issue is with either your vents (so keep them clear) or the air conditioning units. As a bonus, you’ll not only appreciate the cleaner air but the lower energy bill too.


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