We’ve all been put on alert by a weird noise coming from somewhere in our homes. While it’s always good not to panic or start imagining gargoyles or gremlins taking up residence in our basements, it’s also bad to ignore the sounds that could be warning signs.

So how do we know which noises form the soundtrack to a normal home and which ones are signals to call in a repairman? By consulting the experts! Check out our list and a helpful video round-up from Wochit Postables below.

  1. Scratching

    Ever been sitting quietly in your living room or bedroom, only to hear phantom scratching coming from behind you? Well, whatever you may have told yourself in the past, it’s NOT a ghost, and it’s probably not coming from outside, either.

    The more likely answer? We hate to say it, but that scratching is probably mice, rats, or even raccoons who have taken up residence in your walls. Time to call a professional exterminator and have it taken care of pronto before they can do more damage.

  2. Whistling Furnace

    A furnace whistling is nothing like a tea kettle whistle— i.e. totally not normal! Instead, it’s a sign that you need to change the filter.

    As Bob Vila explains:

    That could mean that your filter needs to be changed, which is causing the furnace to overcompensate and eventually suck exhaust gases into the home. You should change the filters on a monthly basis.

  3. Buzzing Appliances

    Unless it’s a timer you specifically set on your washer or dryer, none of your appliances should ever send up noisy signals. If you hear one or more of them buzzing, it’s time to call the repairman.

    More specifically, pay attention to buzzing coming from your dryer and/or your refrigerator. In the case of the former, it could mean something’s stuck in the blower fan or, worse, the motor. In the case of the latter, it could be a problem with the compressor, an important part of the cooling system. Either one means you need professional help, STAT!

  4. Running Water

    Definitely do NOT ignore that faucet that’s always dripping, the toilet that keeps running, or the sound of water wooshing through your pipes even when everything is turned off. It’s not a quirk of the system; it’s a problem.

    That problem is these sounds don’t just indicate a small or even medium leak. They actually mean that you probably have a busted pipe somewhere. Yikes! So when you hear the running water, get a plumber to your home as soon as possible to find the source and fix it.

There are more sounds around the home for which we should all keep an ear out. To learn what they are and keep your family safe, watch the video from Wochit Postables below.

Were you surprised by any of the noises on this list? Are there any we or Wochit missed you think people need to know about immediately? Do you have any tragic tales of ignoring a warning noise in your home?