Okay, so your air conditioner is making some pretty strange sounds, but you don’t know what they are. We understand why this might be frustrating. Not only are these strange sounds incredibly annoying, but they’re also a pretty big cause for concern, as strange noises are usually one of the first indicators of a problem with your AC.
So, what do you do?
Of course, the first thing you should do is contact your local HVAC professionals for repair! And, in the meantime, turn your listening ears on — you might just be able to tell what the problem is all on your own. Don’t believe us? Keep reading below to find out more!
Here’s What That Noise Might Mean
There are a number of sounds you definitely don’t want to hear coming from your AC. These include:
- Shrieking: Otherwise known as the sound of metal on metal, this sound can be indicative of a variety of motor problems. The most likely culprit is motor bearings that have worn down. If these bearings fail, the stress on the motor can permanently damage it. Our technicians can replace the bearings in order to rescue the motor.
- Grinding: This is another potential sign of motor problems, often from too much dust buildup or too little lubrication on the component. If this is paired with an acrid odor from the vents, be sure to shut off the air conditioner right away and call a pro, as your motor is very likely overheating.
- Rattling: This may be a minor problem—something like a loose cabinet door. However, it may also be that a component has come loose and is being knocked around, or a blower fan problem. It may be that you have bent fan blades, or even that the cabinet is coming loose from its slab. If you hear rattling coming from the ducts and not the actual cooling unit, then you likely have damaged ductwork, which is just as detrimental to system operation.
- Hissing: This is probably from a refrigerant leak, and can happen due to corrosion on the refrigerant lines. The hissing noise is an early sign of this problem—indicative of high-pressure gas escaping from the lines. You should ensure this is handled right away by a pro.
- Clicking: You may hear clicks occurring when your system starts up and when it cycles down. These clicks are normal. What’s not normal is consistent clicking or a “hard starting” air conditioner. This means that the system is struggling at powering the compressor—an issue you’ll want to be repaired right away.
- Clanging: This noise can be rather loud and alarming, and should of course never be ignored. It’s probably a loose fan belt (particularly if you have an aging system) or a bent air handler the fan blades are knocking into. It’s a good idea to shut the system down before there’s any more damage, and then call our pros.