Hardwood floors make ticking sound when furnace is on

Q: We just moved in to a new home that was completely re-done, but built in the early 1960’s. We have noticed that our hardwood floors seem to make a ticking sound when our furnace is on. Are you able to provide information why this occurs and what can be done about it?

A: Perhaps it is just a matter of shrinkage from the dry, warm heat and some boards are moving slightly. If this is in one particular area it may indicate duct work below near the underside of the floor. You could monitor the relative humidity in the home and increase as needed.

Follow-up Q: What should the humidity level be left at during winter months? I increased it to 40 yesterday and am hopeful this will help with the issue.

A: I don’t think I’d go higher than 40% RH. Otherwise, you end up with water running down the windows, which would not be good. Into the 20’s is low.

Follow-up Q: It does actually seem as though it’s in one particular area. How extensive of a fix would this potentially be?

A: This sounds like it may just be a seasonal issue. I’d leave it alone and see what it does.

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