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Most homes make their fair share of noise, especially older homes. Some creaking is normal, depending on the age of your house, but other noises indicate a deeper problem. When you’re a new homeowner, it’s beneficial to determine which of these noises are to be expected and which need to be treated as a warning. If you ignore clanging, scratching, buzzing, squealing, or running water when the taps are off, you’ll likely face a larger problem the longer you put off repairs. Take a minute to listen to what your home is telling you, and then call in specialists to address the problems directly before they spiral out of control.

1. Furnace Clunking

Most homeowners expect their central HVAC system to provide quiet economical operation, but this isn’t always the case. Furnaces make a number of noises when they’re operating, many of which are considered normal, even with new central air conditioners. If your furnace begins to make a persistent clanking noise, though, you’ll need to contact an HVAC technician to perform routine maintenance on the system.

The clanking could be the result of a relatively small issue, or it may be indicative of a more pressing issue with your central air conditioner. The technician will likely ask you to describe the noise your furnace has been making, how long the noises have been occurring, and then they’ll listen for the noise themselves. Turn your thermostat to your most commonly used setting, and see what clanking, banging, or whistling occurs so the HVAC repairman can make the necessary changes to your system to restore your air conditioning unit.

2. Scratching In the Walls

Have you ever been preparing for a therapy session on Zoom only to be interrupted by a sudden scratching in the walls? Few things are more stressful than realizing you have critters infiltrating your home. Scratching can come from an array of different animals, from mice to squirrels to raccoons and everything in between. If you hear scratching or skittering in your walls, contact an exterminator. Your home comfort shouldn’t be compromised by pesky critters who want to turn your house into their personal hotel. An exterminator determines where the animals are entering your home, how to remove them, and how to prevent other animals from finding their way back in.

3. Running Water

If you hear running water when your taps are turned off, this is a problem. Running water typically indicates a burst pipe somewhere in your home. Even if you can’t see an accumulation of water or trace the burst pipe to any visible location, that doesn’t mean you can ignore the sound altogether. It’s always better to call a professional the first time you hear running water to avoid excessive damage to your home in the long run. Water damage is costly to fix, so it’s better to have a professional check your entire home to identify any underlying issues.

4. Buzzing Lights

The lights in your house shouldn’t make a buzzing sound when you turn them on. If your interior or exterior lights buzz, this often means there’s something wrong with the wiring connected to the light itself. The connection between the light bulb and the ceiling may have become impaired, and you’ll need to have an electrician address the issue directly. A loose connection in your electrical connections can cause a fire, so give yourself some peace of mind by having the problem repaired straight away.

5. Humming or Squealing Appliances

Your appliances, such as your refrigerator, washing machine, air conditioner, and dryer, are relatively noiseless machines when they’re running properly. Your air conditioner may make added noise during the hottest days of summer since it’s working overtime, but if it begins to hum or squeal, then you’ll need to have it looked at by a specialist. The same is true of any other machine in your home. If persistent humming or squealing starts, repairs are needed. Numerous issues can occur, some of which are easier and less costly to repair than others. Contact the necessary repairman for your ailing appliance and have them determine the best and most affordable solution.

Kathy Heckle