Electric Heater Making Clicking Noises? This Is Why


Not sure why your electric heater is making clicking noises? Then you’ll see 6 reasons and what you can do to silence your heater for good in this article. 

Is your electric heater making clicking noises? Here’s why it does that:

  1. It is starting up
  2. There is a crack in the exchanger
  3. The fan bearings are worn
  4. The coils are vibrating
  5. There is a blockage in the filters
  6. The mounting brackets are loose

There are 6 reasons why your electric heater is making clicking noises. To find out what is the cause of clicking noise in yours, take a look at the guide below.

Why Your Electric Heater Makes Clicking Noises

Your electric heater is on and it seems to be working just fine. All apart from that rather disconcerting clicking noise. The clicking is relatively quiet, you can only hear it when you really pay attention. But at the same time, it’s loud enough to make you feel uneasy. All kinds of thoughts run through your mind. Is it just a couple of clicks away from exploding into a million pieces?

Allow me to reassure you that most clicking noises are not major issues. But to do that best, I will now run through some of the reasons why electric heaters make clicking noises. This way, you’ll be able to identify the issue and find what you need to do about it.

#1 It Is Starting Up

Do you notice a clicking noise every time you start your electric heater up? Then the likelihood is that this is nothing to worry about.

Electric fan heaters click and bang when they do the following:

  1. When you first turn them on. This is because of the switches inside the unit responding to the startup process circulating air inside the heating element.
  2. When they start heating up. Electric fan heaters click away when you turn them on. This is due to the molecules expanding as they heat. The heated molecules are fast and begin to make noise inside the unit.
  3. When you turn the heater off. This is the result of the materials cooling down and starting to shrink.

The larger the electric fan heater, the louder the clicking. So, you might be especially aware of clicking inside a big, electric base heater. If the heater is made of thin metal, it could make quite a ruckus.

So what can you do to fix this problem? Unfortunately, not much. The electric heater is bound to make noise when it starts up and when it turns off. The best you can do is be aware of why it makes a noise so it doesn’t alarm you when you hear it.

electric heater plugged in
Your electric heater will click when it starts up and turns off

#2 There Is a Crack in the Exchanger

When does your electric heater make a clicking noise? Is it especially noticeable when the unit is on a high heat? Then that could be an indication of a crack in the exchanger.

If there is a crack in the exchanger it will make a noisy clicking sound. It will make this noise as the metal expands and contracts.

If you suspect that this could be the problem with your electric heater, it is best to stop using it. Call a technician that should be able to locate the crack and repair it. Or, if the heater has a warranty, you can contact the manufacturer. They should be able to provide you with more advice and possibly a free repair or replacement.

#3 The Fan Bearings Are Worn

The fan bearings in your electrical heater may be small in size, but they are big on noise. Fan bearings, especially low-quality ones, make a lot of noise. They do this as they rub against other components in the heater. The friction between them can cause an irritating clicking.

Why are they so noisy? Well, it could be for a couple of reasons:

  1. The fan bearings are showing signs of wear and tear
  2. The fan bearings have oxidized
  3. The lubrication on the fan bearings has dried over time

Noisy fan bearings are nothing to worry about. They are annoying and loud, but they aren’t going to do any harm to your heater.

Is there anything you can do about the noise? Well, asides from walking around with earplugs in every time you turn on the heater, not really. The easiest solution to this problem is a brand new unit.

Do you have a little technical experience and are up for a challenge? Then you could try lubricating the fan bearings yourself. To do so, you would have to open up the heater, remove the fan, then *lubricate the bearings one by one.

*TIP: To lubricate the fan bearings, you cannot use WD40. You will have to use a special bearings lubricant that will impede you from applying too much oil to them.

heater fan
The fan will click if its bearings are rusty

#4 The Coils Are Vibrating

Another reason for the clicking noise inside your electric heater is because of the friction of the coils. The coils inside your heater are varnished when manufactured. The varnish extends the lifespan of the coils and makes them more resistant. But as the varnish wears off, the coils will begin to vibrate and make a clicking noise.

Noisy coils won’t do any damage to your heater. They are simply a sign that it is getting older. Is there anything you can do about it? Well, technically yes. You can replace the coils in your heater. But this is a faffy and not to mention very expensive job. What tends to work out more economical and far less hassle is replacing the entire heater.

#5 There Is a Blockage in the Filters

Does your electric heater warm up slower than it used to? Then there could be a blockage in the heater’s inlet or outlet filter. These blockages cause the following problems:

  1. If the inlet air filter is blocked with dust and debris this forces the heater to have to work harder
  2. If there are air resistance problems inside the unit it will make a clicking sound
  3. A blockage will make the heater work slower than normal

If there is a blockage in your heater’s filter, this is a simple problem to fix. You just need to clean or replace the filters and the heater should stop making the clicking noise. You will also see improvements in the heater’s efficiency.

#6 The Mounting Brackets Are Loose

Your electric heater is bound to make noise if its mounting brackets are loose. The mounting brackets will vibrate against the wall and the heater if they are not fixed firmly in place. Screwing them down properly will solve the clicking noise.  But be careful not to screw them too tight as this will not leave any room for expansion.

How Do I Stop My Heater From Clicking?‎

I get it. The constant clicking is getting on your last nerve. Sitting in the cold all evening isn’t an option, but the persistent click, click, clicking, seems even worse. Before it drives you round the twist, here are 6 things you can do to stop your heater from clicking:

  1. Lubricate the fan bearings
  2. Replace the heater’s coils
  3. Clean or replace the filters
  4. Tighten the mounting brackets
  5. Get a technician to fix a crack in the exchanger


So your electric heater is making clicking noises that are making you feel somewhat concerned and a little peeved. Luckily, this article is full of 6 reasons why your electric heater is making this noise. It has discussed whether it is something you should worry about. It has also no doubt helped you to fix your heater’s issue and get it to quieten back down again.

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Have a great day!


I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more