Hearing strange noises coming from your air conditioner can be unsettling, especially when the weather starts warming up. All you want is to escape from the Texas heat, but getting familiar with your HVAC system is important. Although it is normal for air conditioners to make a variety of sounds, some sounds may mean it’s time for you to schedule an AC repair, maintenance or, in extreme cases, a new AC installation.
Air Tech of Humble knows how quickly minor sounds can turn into major expenses when ignored. Using this guide, we want you to be able to identify the source of the sound as soon as possible to resolve your AC issues.
A clicking sound when your unit first turns on or off is completely normal. This is the sound of the electrical components starting up and shutting down. Clicking that continues throughout the cooling cycle is not a normal part of the system’s operation.
This may be a sign that the thermostat is failing or of an issue with the compressor’s relay switch and capacitor.
Squealing or Squeaking
For some air conditioners, especially older ones, it is normal to hear squealing for 10-15 seconds when the unit starts. If your system doesn’t usually squeak or if it lasts longer and is very loud, you may have a problem.
Older air conditioning units use a belt system that connects to the motor and fan. When that belt slips from its position, you will be able to hear high-pitched squealing inside and outside of your home. On the other hand, newer systems have metal bearings on the condenser fan’s motor that need regular lubrication. Dry bearings are metal rubbing directly against metal, which produces a squealing or grinding noise.
In more severe cases, bad fan or blower motors squeal loudly. Malfunctioning blower wheels and their housing also squeal. In any case, this sound is a sign of high pressure and dangerous conditions within the system. It should be addressed by a professional technician as soon as possible.
A buzzing sound is one of the most common noises people hear from a malfunctioning AC unit. This can be caused by any of the following:
- Loose parts that stress and wear down other parts
- Damaged or missing isolation feet that your unit sits on, which loosen and deteriorate over time, putting the compressor off-balance
- A malfunctioning compressor that cannot pressurize refrigerant to cool your home, often caused by an incorrect electrical voltage
- A refrigerant leak or frozen unit when ice has formed on evaporator coils, especially if the system is not cooling your home properly
- A faulty condenser fan caused by an electrical issue or debris inside the unit
Due to the number of electrical components in AC units, the source of the issue can be difficult to identify. The best thing to do is pay attention to electrical problems as soon as you notice them before they become a larger air conditioner repair.
Clanking, Banging or Rattling
Loose parts that are out-of-balance and hitting other parts in your system will make a clanking, banging or rattling noise. As your air conditioner wears down over time, any of its components can loosen, break and damage other components if it continues to run.
In simpler cases, leaves and twigs stuck in the unit can also cause clanking and rattling sounds.
No matter the cause, this issue will create much larger problems if ignored. If you hear this sound in your air conditioner, turn the system off right away and schedule a professional AC repair. The sooner the problem is addressed, the less likely it is to cause additional damage and more expensive services.
Hissing or High-Pitched Whistling
Refrigerant leaks or high internal pressure within the compressor will emit a hissing or high-pitched whistling sound from your air conditioning unit. These are both very dangerous; they can damage your system and threaten your family’s health.
Your air conditioner has safety sensors, so it may turn off automatically in this situation. If it doesn’t, shut the unit off right away. To avoid a potentially hazardous situation, call a professional and don’t start the system again until they arrive.
We Know Noises – Schedule An AC Tune-Up
If you hear any of these noises coming from your air conditioner, turn off the unit and contact us! Our team of professional technicians, at Air Tech of Humble, can safely assess and repair any malfunctions in your unit, so don’t put yourself at risk.
Serving Humble, Texas and the surrounding areas, we know how important air conditioners are, so let us keep you cool with our elite services this season!