Why is My Boiler Making Noise?

Waking up to the unexpected sound of your boiler making noise can be a jarring experience. While it’s not unusual for boilers to make some operational sounds, certain noises might indicate an issue that requires attention. If you’ve found yourself in this situation and are unsure about the cause of the commotion, you’ve come to the right place. 

Heartland Heating, Air & Plumbing is a family-owned and operated HVAC company with a legacy dating back to 1946. We are proud to be a trusted name in HVAC services for the Murphysboro and Carbondale, Illinois, area. Whether your boiler was installed by us or not, our commitment to customer service and expertise remains unwavering. We are here to assist you with whatever you need, whether it’s advice or best-in-class boiler service!

How Boilers Work

Before we decipher what’s behind the clatter, let’s first look at how boilers work. Understanding the basics of boiler operation can provide valuable insights into why your boiler is making noise.

Boilers are widely utilized for heating in many Southern Illinois households due to their renowned efficiency and dependability. These systems function by generating heat through the combustion of fuels like natural gas or oil within the boiler’s combustion chamber. The heat produced in this process is then transferred to a heat exchanger. This component absorbs the heat, allowing it to convert water into steam or hot water.

Once the water becomes steam or hot water, it is efficiently circulated throughout the entire residence using a network of pipes, radiators, or other heat-emitting mechanisms. The boiler system is further regulated by a thermostat, ensuring that the boiler operates under the desired temperature settings. 

What Types of Noises Do Boilers Make?

Boilers can be a bit noisy at times, but is a noisy boiler dangerous? Understanding the types of sounds your heating equipment can produce can be helpful when determining if the noises are normal or problematic. Here are some common sounds you might encounter, plus the reason why your boiler is making loud noises.

Kettling Noises

Resembling a boiling kettle, boiler kettling often occurs due to mineral deposits or limescale buildup in the boiler’s heat exchanger. These deposits restrict water flow, leading to overheating and the kettling noise.

Banging or Clunking Sounds

When your boiler is making Loud banging noises it is likely during the boiler’s startup or shutdown. This is typically linked to rapid temperature changes that cause metal components inside the boiler to expand or contract.

Whistling or Gurgling Noises

A gurgling sound or a whistling sound may result from air trapped inside the heating system or issues with water flow. Trapped air can disrupt water flow, causing gurgling or whistling noises.

Pinging or Ticking

These intermittent sounds can occur as the boiler cycles between heating up and cooling down, often due to the expansion and contraction of pipework.

Humming or Vibrating

A humming noise or vibrating noise is often associated with the operation of the circulating boiler pump or fans.

When You Should Call for Professional Boiler Repair

Now that you’re familiar with boiler noises and their potential causes, let’s discuss when it’s time to call for boiler repair. Here are some signs that should prompt you to seek professional assistance:

  • Consistent or Worsening Noise: If your noisy boiler becomes louder and more disruptive, it’s a clear sign that something is amiss with your boiler.
  • Reduced Heating Performance: If your boiler isn’t providing adequate heat, or if certain areas of your home are much cooler than others, it’s time to call for a professional inspection.
  • Fluctuating Water Pressure: A drop in water pressure, indicated by uneven water flow or unusual noises, can signify an issue within the system.
  • Visible Leaks: Any visible leaks around your boiler or the associated pipework require immediate attention, as they can lead to further damage.
  • Unusual Smells: If you detect any unusual or unpleasant odors with your gas boiler, turn it off and contact a professional immediately.

How to Care for and Protect Your Boiler System

To maintain the smooth operation of your boiler and prevent strange sounds from happening, it’s essential to follow a regular maintenance routine. Here are some key things you can do at home to help keep your boiler in excellent condition:

  1. Bleed the Radiators: If you hear gurgling or hissing sounds from your radiators, it may be due to trapped air. Periodically bleeding your radiators helps eliminate air pockets and ensures efficient water circulation.
  2. Check Your Water Pressure: Verify that your boiler’s water pressure falls within the recommended range. Maintaining proper water pressure is crucial to prevent strange noises and maintain boiler efficiency.
  3. Address Any Leaks: Regularly inspect your boiler system for signs of leaks from pipes or valves. Swiftly address any leaks to prevent unusual sounds and potential damage.
  4. Combat Limescale: If you live in hard water areas, consider installing a water softener to reduce limescale buildup in the heat exchanger, which can lead to loud boiler noises.
  5. Maintain a Clean Area: Ensure the space surrounding your boiler is clean and free of debris. Objects obstructing airflow can lead to a loud banging noise or gurgling sounds.

At Heartland Heating, Air & Plumbing, we understand that unexpected boiler noises can be concerning. Our services encompass comprehensive boiler repairs to address noise issues and tackle a range of other boiler-related problems such as short cycling, inconsistent heating, and leaks. Our experienced technicians excel in resolving various issues, ensuring your home remains comfortable and secure. 

Outside of our regular boiler tune-ups, we also offer an affordable HVAC maintenance plan, which includes bi-annual equipment cleaning and checks, priority emergency service, and a 15% discount on plumbing and HVAC repair parts and labor. Our preventative maintenance ensures potential issues are caught early and your system is fully prepared for the upcoming seasons.

Trust Heartland for Boiler Repairs in Murphysboro and Beyond

Is your boiler making noise? Turn to Heartland Heating, Air & Plumbing for dependable solutions. As a trusted HVAC provider in Southern Illinois with a rich history going back decades, we’re known for quality repairs and top-notch customer service. 

Our expertise extends to heating, cooling, indoor air quality, and plumbing services. Whether it’s boiler installations, furnace or heat pump maintenance, or air conditioner repair, we’re your go-to experts. Contact us for an appointment or consultation today.