Reasons to call a repairman when your AC unit is making strange noises
Your air conditioning unit is one of the most complex appliances in the household. It uses mechanical parts mixed with fluids in order to cool the home. If your residential AC system begins to make a strange noise, it’s time to listen up. The type of sound you hear can point to the issue at hand.
Learn all about air conditioner sounds so that you can fix the issue yourself or contact the professionals at Richmond’s Air for a closer look.
If you hear whistling or screaming, contact HVAC professionals right away. This sound usually indicates that the compressor on the outside unit has high pressure. Severe damage can result if this problem is ignored and not fixed. The system should automatically shut off with high pressure, but you can manually cut the power before the sound intensifies if necessary.
A whistling sound connected to the inside unit is a simple fix: replace or clean the air filter. The sound may be air trying to find a pathway through the clogged filter.
One of the simplest fixes originates from a thumping noise. Shut off the system and examine the exterior unit. There may be debris striking the fan blades or a blade has come loose. Fix the most obvious issues and turn the system back on. Every system has some unique sounds as it warms up, but thumping noises shouldn’t be part of its daily activation.
Keep an eye on any part that’s been adjusted after the thumping issue. Readjustments to avoid this problem in the future may be necessary.
Most clicking noises emanate from an electrical component that’s failing. These items might include:
- Control interface
Because the clicking noise involves electricity, it’s always preferable to contact a professional for assistance. They can pinpoint the failed item and replace it with safety as a top priority. High currents flow through the AC unit, which makes it dangerous for most homeowners to repair on their own. Simply shut off the system when you notice the clicking noise and call a professional.
Several issues may be at play with a squealing noise. Squealing sounds usually come from the outside unit. With the system off, take a look at the fan belt and motor.
A stretched fan belt can lose purchase with the motor, which causes the squealing sound. Alternatively, the fan belt may be good, but the fan motor is seizing. Bearings within the motor can break down over time and they produce a squealing sound too.
The indoor unit might exhibit squealing from the blower motor. All of these items can be DIY projects if you’re comfortable with mechanical repairs.
Hissing sounds are almost always caused by leaking refrigerant. This liquid remains trapped in the AC system as it flows between the interior and exterior units. In essence, it moves hot air to the exterior while allowing a cool breeze to flow within the home. Although the refrigerant lines are tough, decades of degradation can result in cracks and holes, leading to hissing noises.
If the leak is in an easy-to-reach area, you may be able to recharge the system with a new hose. However, most repairs are best suited for professionals. There may be more than just one leak in the system.
An air conditioner making loud buzzing noise requires a professional’s care. This sound can mean several things. In fact, the entire system probably needs a thorough inspection. Some of the parts that can create a buzzing sound include:
- Loose fan blades
- Electrical issues
- Dirty condenser coils
- Refrigerant leaks
The buzzing might come from more than one area of the AC unit. You can inspect the parts for a good idea on the cause, but our technicians can make short work of this widespread sound.
Occasionally, an air conditioner can emit a bubbling or gurgling sound. This sound stems from the refrigerant in the line. It might need a recharge, which requires a professional’s help.
Another possibility is the gurgling sound is coming from the drainage line. You can inspect this area for any obvious obstructions. Otherwise, HVAC technicians can take a closer look for a more thorough diagnosis.
A pulsating system creates harmonics that seem to hum on and off with a mysterious motion. A compressor that’s improperly insulated is usually the cause. Adding a plastic pad to the system can help stop the air conditioner from making a pulsating noise.
Another culprit can be a wobbly fan blade. Tightening the screws on the fan might stop this oscillation that can often mimic a pulsating effect.
Clanking or banging usually indicates that a part is either loose or off balance. Shut the AC system off and take a close look at the outdoor unit. The fan blades or motor might have loose screws, for instance. In some cases, an item may have fallen into the outdoor unit, which causes the clanking sound.
If you cannot see any obvious reasons for the sound, it might be coming from the compressor. Parts within this component do occasionally break off. A professional evaluation is recommended at this point because the compressor is one of the most expensive parts to replace.