Lining the perimeter of a room, baseboard heaters provide an ideal way to heat a space at an even level. While these heaters will typically last for years without incident, because of their location, baseboard heaters will often start to show signs of trouble by the sounds that they make. Some sounds can mean you need professional attention from an HVAC technician right away, and some noises will only need simple resolutions. Here are a few of the most common noises you may hear from your baseboard heaters and the likely causes you should know. 

Sound: High-pitched squealing or whistles. 

Cause and Solution: Even though a high-pitched squealing or whistling noise radiating from your baseboard heaters when they kick on can be disconcerting, this is actually one noise that is usually not a big deal. The fan system of these heaters usually blows forced heat through a narrow ventilation opening. If a small piece of plastic, tape, or other thin material gets caught in this area, the air sweeping over the debris at a high speed will cause a whistling or squealing noise.

Open up the front compartment of your baseboard heater and clean it thoroughly with a small broom to eliminate anything that could be causing the issue. 

Sound: Popping or crackling.

Cause and Solution: Your baseboard heaters should not be crackling, snapping, or popping in any way. Even though in some cases this type of sound could be caused by trash and debris inside of the vents, it can also be a sign of electrical damage or wiring problems.

If the pops and snaps seem to be accompanied by operating problems or interruptions, it is definitely a sign that you should turn off the main breakers to the heaters and call a professional. For help, check with companies like Feldman Brothers Electrical Supply Co.

Sound: Rattling and knocking.

Cause and Solution: Occasionally, the inner hardware of a baseboard heater will work itself loose, especially in older models. Brackets, screws, and even small vent pieces can come loose and rattle around inside of the heater itself. When the fan system kicks on, you may hear the heater rattle and knock as if something is terribly wrong.

Remove the front vent covers from your baseboard heaters and look for loosened hardware that may be causing the issue. Before attempting to tighten or secure any loose pieces, make sure that the power is disconnected from the heater and it is powered off.