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It's Not Ghosts...the Boiler Is Just Broken

What Do Those Creepy Boiler Sounds Mean?

Halloween is coming, and everyone knows that means trips to the pumpkin patch and touring haunted houses. The creepy noises that accompany a jaunt through the local haunted house can pop up in a ghost-free home, too. Strange noises coming from the boiler are often a warning that it needs attention from an HVAC expert. 

Bothersome Banging 

men putting hands on his hands

When the boiler starts drumming out some hellacious bangs and booms, it’s natural for a homeowner to worry. Most banging noises are a sign of rapid pressure changes within the boiler tank. If any water becomes trapped in the boiler, it will heat and evaporate into steam. Steam takes up more space than water, expanding until the pressure becomes too much for the boiler, ultimately creating a loud bang as the pressure is relieved. 

Usually, pressure changes occur due to a leak or restrictions in the boiler pipes. Most problems can be fixed with a visit from a plumbing specialist who can conduct the cleaning or part replacement required to stop the banging.

Rotten Rattling 

Rattling in the house on Halloween should be reserved for the friendly ghosts. Unfortunately, rattling can be a common noise coming from the boiler. Most rattling is a sign that there is a loose part, such as a valve or fitting, within or attached to the radiator. On occasion, rattling can also be caused by air in the pipes. 


The good news is, both problems can be fixed by an HVAC professional. Loose parts can be tightened and supported to stop the rattling. If the presence of air in the pipes happens to be the problem, the HVAC technician can bleed the pipes of the air. Bleeding should be handled by a professional, as bleeding the pipes also requires balancing the pressure of the boiler. Bleeding of the pipes can create a drop in pressure in the boiler can result in another irritating noise: banging.  

Hellish Humming 

Humming isn’t exactly a sound anyone wants to echo through their house. When humming rears its ugly head, it can often be blamed on the boiler. Loose parts, heightened pressure, and a circulating pump set to run too fast can lead to the incessant humming bothering the home.  

As a general rule, loose parts on any piece of machinery make noise. The only way to stop humming and the aforementioned rattling noises is to fix the loose parts. Units that aren’t well supported, and have loose brackets and open panels are likely suspects of causing humming. Adjusting the parts to sit correctly will usually eliminate the humming.

If the presence of air or loose parts have been ruled out, there is a chance that the boiler is set to circulate too fast. The circulating pump is responsible for moving hot air through the boiler and out into the home. If the pump is operating too fast for the home’s demands, vibration and humming can be generated. Adjusting the circulating pump to the correct speed can be done by a professional capable of discerning the correct speed for the home’s boiler set up and heat demands. 

Don’t let a noisy boiler haunt the house. Contact a local HVAC specialist to hunt down and handle the source of the noise so that the home can go back to being a peaceful, unhaunted abode. 

About McLoughlin Plumbing Heating Air Conditioning

Since 1965, McLoughlin Plumbing, Heating, Air Conditioning has been providing superb HVAC services to local homeowners. They work tirelessly to develop long-lasting relationships with their clients built on years of quality work and trust. Contact them today for reliable Upper Darby, PA boiler services.