Someday, in the not too far off future, we may have air conditioners that self-diagnose problems and report them back to the homeowner.
This simply isn’t the case though–not yet anyway.
One of the most common signs that something is wrong with an air conditioner is strange sounds. What qualifies? Honestly, anything that’s different from the normal hum of the fans and the compressor, plus the occasional clicking as the system comes on and shuts down and the temperature fluctuations cause the ductwork to adjust.
What sort of sounds are we talking about? Well, we’ve listed 6 ominous sounds below. If you hear any of them, please give our team a call right away.
Have you noticed what sounds like a pretty loud, mechanical shrieking noise coming from your air conditioner? This is most likely the sign of a motor issue, or at least the sign of motor bearings that are wearing out. This isn’t uncommon–in fact it’s a normal part of wear and tear. But it does need to be fixed sooner rather than later.
Worn-down motor bearings eventually create too much friction on the motor, which permanently damages it. Our professionals will quickly and accurately replace these bearings to save your motor and prevent subsequent problems.
Grinding noises also indicate a possible motor problem. It’s usually caused by a motor that’s accumulated too much dust, or has lost too much lubrication. Again, this is a normal part of wear and tear (and something that’s checked on during professional maintenance by our team) but it isn’t something you should ignore by any means.
If you smell an acrid odor on top of the grinding sound, then your motor has likely already overheated. Please turn your cooling system off right away, and give us a call.
This might actually be a really minor thing, to be honest. It can be something as simple as a loose cabinet door–something that you can possible fix on your own with a few twists of a screwdriver.
Another possibility, though, is that you have loose components being knocked around in the blower fan, or damaged fan blades. Or in really severe cases, it ight be that your AC cabinet outside is coming loose from the slab it’s bolted down to.
No, there is probably not a snake inside your air conditioner! What you are most likely hearing is refrigerant escaping from the unit. Refrigerant is the chemical blend that makes the cooling process possible. Your air conditioner is supplied with enough refrigerant upon manufacturing to ideally last the system’s entire lifespan.
If the system is losing refrigerant, it means there is a leak that must be repaired, and that the refrigerant must be recharged (refilled).
Clicking can sometimes be a natural noise coming from an air conditioner. When your air conditioner cycles on and off and the air rushes through your ductwork, it creates a temperature fluctuation in that ductwork so it expands and contracts.
If, however, you’re hearing clicking the whole time your air conditioner is running, or if your air conditioner is “hard-starting” when it comes on, these are both signs of compressor problems, and you’ll want to have that checked on right away. After all, the compressor is the heart of an air conditioner.
This sound can be pretty alarming! It can be caused by something like a loose fan belt, or even a bent air handler that the fan blades are knocking into. These types of problems are a lot more likely in an older air conditioner than in a newer one, but that doesn’t mean the problem shouldn’t be addressed. In fact, having problems fixed ASAP could help your air conditioner last that much longer.