6 house noises you should never ignore
1. Skittering in the walls
If you hear the telltale sound of skittering, squeaking, scratching or buzzing coming from inside your walls, it may very well be exactly what you think it is—an unexpected house guest.
From raccoons, mice and squirrels to birds, bees, and the dreaded rat, these critters can become unwanted tenants in our homes. If you hear noises coming from the walls, you’ll want to check the exterior walls for any signs of animals and call your local animal control expert for help.
2. Clanking in the pipes
When your radiator isn’t draining properly, it may start make clanging noises. Check whether your radiator inlet is fully open. If that doesn’t help, try tilting the excess water back toward the pipe by placing shims under one side of the radiator.
Clanking pipes may also be a sign of “water hammer” or hydraulic shock. This happens when the water flowing through pipes stops or changes direction suddenly. If you hear signs of hydraulic shock, consult a plumber because it can break or loosen plumbing joints and cause long-term damage.
3. Electrical humming
Humming noises coming from your electrical appliances could mean different things depending on the appliance:
- Fridge: A buzzing noise could mean the compressor is breaking down.
- Dishwasher: Grinding or sputtering may mean an object is stuck in the area of the chopper blade.
- Dryer: Humming could point to an object caught in the dryer’s blower wheel.
- Outlet or switch: Humming sounds from an outlet or switch could mean a wire has come lose. Call an electrician to fix this, since a lose wire can be dangerous.
4. Furnace noises
Furnaces can be noisy—it’s just a fact of life! But if you hear any new, unusual or persistent sounds coming from your furnace, get it checked by an HVAC professional:
- Squealing could indicate the motor needs to be oiled
- Popping may mean a clogged gas line
- Banging could come from the fan hitting the cage around it
- Whistling could indicate a dirty filter
- Clanking can occur when turning on the furnace
5. Whistling from the windows
A whistling sound coming from your windows could mean a variety of issues, including:
- The weather stripping on your windows has worn down
- Your windows haven’t been properly installed
- Your windows are getting old
- Normal weather changes
Aside from being annoying, whistling sounds could mean heat is leaking out. Take steps to get your home ready for winter to seal any leaks. If that doesn’t fix the problem, turn to the pros for advice.
6. Bubbling from the pipes
Don’t ignore bubbling noises coming from your water heater because it could mean there’s a sediment build up at the bottom of the appliance. Call a professional to flush the inside of the tank. Most water tanks last about 10 years, so if yours is approaching the end of its lifespan, you should install a new one.
Remember to listen to what your home is telling you—it could save you a lot of money and stress in the long run.
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These tips are provided for information and prevention purposes only. They are general in nature, and The Personal cannot be held liable for them. We recommend using caution and consulting an expert for comprehensive, tailored advice.