More often in older homes, you can sometimes here a soft hum coming from your electrical system. For those attuned to the sound it can be more than annoying, it can be deafening. Some of these sounds are harmless, though some are far more dire and should be taken care of immediately.

So what could they be?

  1. Light Bulbs – It doesn’t happen as often any more, but some fluorescent or incandescent bulbs can hum.
  2. Baseboard Heaters – When they are in standby mode your baseboard heaters will hum and if the temperature is hovering near the point they would turn on, you may find them clicking on and off.
  3. Electric Motors – Much like heaters, motors will have a baseline hum in standby if they are AC powered.
  4. Electronics – Capacitors will hum if they aren’t being used, but the power is still going to them. This happens for receivers, radios, televisions, and speakers among others.
  5. Circuit Breakers – breakers and fuses are designed to flip or burn out when there is to much power. Before that happens or if something prevents that from happening however then they will hum.

Though many are normal and harmless, some sounds aren’t. You will want to investigate to make sure it isn’t something you should have an electrician deal with.