For perhaps as long as ten years, my office has been subject to The Incredible Screaming Ceiling. Not often, mind you, but it seems to coincide with winter days with the sun shining and the temp outside in the 40s. Not today, by the way.
It's always been hard to locate the noise when it does happen. It sounds something like a mechanical vibration or rotation. It is not connected to the lights. It doesn't seem to be IN my office, but either on the third floor or in the grad student office next door.
The first time it happened, it scared me. It's loud and really annoying. Someone once came up to "look" for it, but the noise wasn't happening that day and well, it just wasn't worth it to keep crying WOLF! and having people find nothing when they actually got there.
Eventually, I just chose to ignore it. It only lasts for five to ten minutes anyway, once around noon and then usually in the later afternoon. (evil grin) I've always assumed it had something to do with the heating pipes on the offices above me.
But... the other week the dept. chair was holding a meeting in the conference room across the hall and when I came back from class and opened my door, the din got louder to them, and he came over and asked, "What the hell is that?!"
Thing about our current chair is that he is pretty proactive and gets things done. He checked my office, then went next door. Next thing I saw as I went down the hallway was him standing on the desk, having pushed a ceiling panel out of the way and saying he'd found it.
Some sort of hot water control valve with an electrical control wire coming out of it. He said he'd get it fixed.
Fast Forward To Now
The last couple of days? When I come into my office it is quite warm. 81°F on Monday and 85°F today. It cools off quickly after I open the door and it's a pleasant 77°F right now. As opposed to the 69°F and dropping that I usually get. Lower if the wind is howling and there's a draft from the window frames where they "fixed" that some years ago.
I think maybe the control valve got fixed and maybe my heat is actually working Better Than Life right now. Got to say, I don't mind it so much... (toasty grin)