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That “Booming” Sound from Your Furnace: Here’s What It Means

Do you know what brontophobia means? I recently looked it up, because I heard a veterinarian use it. It means “fear of thunder and loud noises,” and it’s common among most animals—especially dogs and cats. I know that whenever I heard a sharp noise, like a car backfiring, I jump and get nervous. Now there’s nothing really to be afraid of in that case… but then my hearing is much more sensitive than yours, and so to me car backfire can sound like an epic explosion in action movie.

But noises can provide important warnings to your human ears. A good example is the noises that come from gas furnaces. Yes, furnaces make noise whenever they run, but I mean those out-of-the-ordinary noises that might suddenly catch you off guard and make your dog (or cat) jump. One of these unusual sounds is a ­booming noise.

Should I worry about that booming sound?

Yes, but don’t go into a panic! The sound is startling, but you probably aren’t in any immediate physical danger. But this is still something that you need to have taken care of right away—and it’s a job that you must leave to professionals. Remember, you should never work on any appliance connected to a gas line yourself. Contact licensed and insured HVAC technicians.

What causes the booming sound?

The most likely cause for this noise is that there is a build-up along the gas burners that ignite to burn the natural gas in the combustion chamber. Carbon molecules can develop along the burners that will delay some of the jets from igniting. This allows more unburned gas to collect in the chamber, so when the jet does ignite, it creates a “booming” sound as all the gas burns at once. Dirt and grime can also cause the jets to delay igniting, as well as rust flakes. A repair professional will need to detach the burner and clean it to fix the problem.

MK Russell & Abbott is the place to call when you have concerns about your gas furnace’s performance! Our licensed and insured technicians serve Maryville, TN and all of Blount, Know, and Loudon Counties.

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