Stay Alert When You Hear These Strange House Sounds

Home Builder

Some homeowners experience strange noises in their houses. Creaking floors or wall scratching sounds can make you jump. Sometimes these are no big deal, but other times they require your attention. Here are some things you should stay alert to. 

1. Clanking Sound Coming From Heater

You may hear a moaning sound when you first turn on your heating system. However, if you have a circulator pump, it should run silently. Any knocking or clunking noises may be an issue. It could indicate the radiator is too level, your pipes are loose or the water pressure is too high. It’s time to call a contractor.  

2.  Scratching Noises Coming From the Walls 

Have you ever heard a scratching noise when you were home alone? While you might have believed it was a ghost, oftentimes, creatures are to blame. You could have mice, squirrels or raccoons living behind your walls. 

You can start with a small infestation by trying to trap and remove the pests on your own — unless it’s a more significant intruder, like a raccoon. Set mouse traps as soon as you hear these sounds. If it becomes a bigger issue, consider calling in a professional exterminator. 

Prevent this problem by sealing any cracks with steel wool, metal sheathing or caulk. Make sure to enclose openings around windows and doorways. Also, cover your chimney with a cap. 

3. Running Water Noises

Pay attention if you hear running water coming from your drains and nobody is using them. It could indicate a busted pipe in your wall or under the floor. Shut off the main water supply immediately.

If the sound is still audible, there may be a leak. The first thing you want to do is check the water meter by turning off all the water and reading the flow indicator. Then call a plumber for assistance. 

4. Bubbling or Crackling Sounds Coming From Your Water Heater

If you have a gas-powered water heater, sediment can build up at the bottom of the tank. It can force the system to work harder as it accumulates. The noises you hear are signs that the tank may start failing. 

Flush out your hot water tank using the drain valve. To do this, shut off the gas and electricity to the heater. Then you will want to turn off the cold water valve and attach a garden hose to the drain. 

5.  Furnace Making a Whistling Noise

If you hear your furnace making this noise, it may be time for a cleaning. When your filters aren’t changed, the system pulls gas from the furnace into the house. You want to wash your filters about four times a year. 

You can usually find disposable replacement filters at hardware stores. If you have washable ones, turn off the electricity and locate the service panel. Then remove it by undoing the clasp or unscrewing the screws.  

6. Strangled Noise When You Open Garage Door

Have you ever tried to open your garage door and heard strange sounds?  This could be an indication you need to replace your torsion springs. The springs usually last around seven to nine years. You can rebalance the coils before replacing them, but once they break, you will need to buy new ones. 

7. Hissing Noises

Hissing sounds can feel kind of spooky, especially at night. The sound often comes from a leaking HVAC system. These leaks can occur in the compressor radiator or inside the air ducts. Check the valves for obvious signs of leaks, which may include increased humidity in your home or higher electricity bills. If you notice bigger issues, call a professional. 

If your home is powered by natural gas, the hissing sound could be a gas leak. You may also be able to smell the gas. If this happens, evacuate and call your gas company. 

Strange House Noises You Should Never Ignore

When you’re home alone, strange sounds can be scary. However, they often alert you to a potential problem you can fix. The next time you hear an odd noise, make sure your appliances are functioning properly and stay safe.

Comments (4)

Victoria Ray Henderson
The Buyer Brokerage - McLean, VA
Washington DC Real Estate

What an excellent blog James! I remember touring a house alone and calling my son to tell him I thought it was haunted. I heard what I thought were footsteps upstairs when I was downstairs. When I went upstairs I heard them in the basement. Creepy!!

I found out later the house had a rat infestation! No ghosts but rats-ugh!

Dec 27, 2021 12:03 PM
James White

Ha! Honestly I'd prefer the ghosts in that situation.. I was definitely inspired by my kid's irrational fears of night sounds...if only they were always irrational!

Dec 29, 2021 11:42 AM
Joan Cox
House to Home, Inc. - Denver Real Estate - 720-231-6373 - Denver, CO
Denver Real Estate - Selling One Home at a Time

James, I would stop in my tracks if I heard these specific noises.   I do hear other noises my kitties make.

Dec 27, 2021 03:04 PM
John Pusa
Berkshire Hathaway Home Services Crest - Glendale, CA
Your All Time Realtor With Exceptional Service

Hello James White these are very important list of strange house sounds always to stay alert.

Dec 27, 2021 08:28 PM
Kristin Johnston - REALTOR®
RE/MAX Platinum - Waukesha, WI
Giving Back With Each Home Sold!

Great information.  Thanks for sharing and have a wonderful day!

Dec 29, 2021 06:55 AM