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  • Jun 24, 2021
  • By NextEra Home

There are spooky sounds that go bump in the night, that have nothing to do with Halloween, goblins or ghouls, but when the noise emanates from an appliance or home system, it’s still pretty scary. Spooky sounds are the precursor to bad news. HVAC systems, water heaters, and appliances are supposed to hum along rather silently, performing the duties they’re designed to do. However, normal wear and tear can break the silence.

Tune your ear to some of the more common sounds that accompany wear and tear, before an appliance in your home breaks the sound barrier.


The knock-knock that’s coming from your refrigerator isn’t a joke, but if it were, wear and tear is the answer to “who’s there?” Knocking could signal that the refrigerator’s compressor or possibly the fan is going bad.  Some models knock naturally, as it’s a function of the refrigerator when the fan stops and starts. However, loud excessive knocking isn’t normal and should be addressed by a professional technician, who will either replace the offending part or perhaps pronounce the appliance D-O-A (dead on arrival).

Running Water

You hear running water, but all faucets are closed. You’re not crazy. If you hear water running, it is. Not being able to see it is the problem. Left unattended, the leak will appear soon enough, perhaps from behind a dishwasher, from beneath the washing machine or from a slow leaking pipe. Toilets have also been known to leak. To avoid water damage, call a plumber right away. Turn off water to the house until the running water can be addressed. You may be able to turn off water at the source of the leak, such as when a toilet or dishwasher leaks. Turning the water off at the source will eliminate the need to turn the water off to the entire house.


Do not ignore a hissing sound, especially if your home appliances are powered by gas. Ventilate the house and call the power company immediately to check for a gas leak. Leave the house if you’re unable to ventilate it properly.

Bubbling Sound

A bubbling sound could mean toil and trouble for your water heater, so don’t ignore it. The sound it emits may be more similar to gurgling than bubbling and happens with mineral build-up inside the water heater. Rust and sediment appear over time and with age. Most water heaters last on average between 8 and 12 years1. Gurgling is a sign that the water heater is on its way out, deteriorating from the inside.


A loud squealing or squeaking from the laundry room could indicate that the washing machine or dryer is having difficulty rotating or coming to a stop when it does. Components that buffer the drum from scraping, wear away with use. Sooner or later the appliance will break down. The machine may still turn on, but rotation is impossible and at the very least, annoying as the squealing progresses and becomes louder.

It may be a relief to know that you don’t have to call Ghostbusters to address the spooky noises at home. Address them with a home warranty plan* offered by NextEra Home.

A home warranty plan offered by NextEra Home provides coverage for repair or replacement of home systems, and appliances that go bump in the night (or during the day), if they fail  due to normal wear and tear. Call 833-634-6634 for more information.

* The home warranty plans are service plans and not warranties.