Most people love to spend time in a cool air-conditioned house when summer hits. However, when the AC unit starts making some strange noises, it could make your home less comfortable. Ignoring such signs can cause major issues in your cooling system, resulting in expensive future repairs. The sooner you can spot the cause of the noises and fix it, the better. Beware of the following noises from your air conditioner.
1. Banging or Clanging Noises
Any time you hear clanging sounds from the outdoor unit, it means that something is disrupting the fan’s operations. It could also be a sign that the AC unit has some broken components. Due to normal wear and tear, various compressor parts may become loose, creating loud banging sounds. Unfortunately, you might need to get a new compressor.
Other times the blower motor can get out of balance, hitting other components. Such issues can worsen when ignored, so immediately turn off the system and call a professional to check the issue before it damages other parts.
2. High-Pitch Screeching or Screaming Noise
If your AC unit produces loud screaming or screeching noises, it could be having issues with the compressor or fan motor. If the unit kicks on and you immediately hear the noises, the compressor is likely operating at very high pressure. In this case, you need to shut off your system and immediately call a professional. You might need to replace the compressor or the entire appliance. On the other hand, if the noise is present the entire time while running the air conditioner, you could have a loose fan motor. Again, contact an experienced HVAC technician to replace it.
3. Rattling Noises
Rattling sounds indicate a problem with the blower or assembly motor. This happens when a part of the assembly motor or blower becomes loose and begins to toss around inside the outdoor condenser unit. Turn off the power, and then inspect the condenser unit for any loose parts you can fasten. Additionally, your AC unit may produce rattling noises when clogged with twigs or leaves. Clean the area around the outdoor unit.
4. Unusual Hissing or Bubbling Noise
Hissing sounds from the indoor unit are signs of a refrigerant leak. During normal operation, the refrigerant runs in a closed loop. When these capillary tubes corrode or wear off, they create holes where the refrigerant escapes at a high pressure, producing hissing sounds.
Shut off the system immediately and call a professional. Note that a refrigerant leak can reduce the system’s efficiency and cause some health risks to your family.
If the hissing sounds come from above the ceiling or under the floor, it could be due to leaky ductwork. This will not only cause annoying noises but also waste energy. Depending on where the leak is, you can fix it yourself using duct tape, or you may seek professional assistance.
5. Loud Humming Sounds
A neglected fan can cause humming sounds. Your air conditioner requires constant maintenance to clean its components and keep them in working conditions. If one of the blades in the fan motor bends, it can also cause humming sounds. Sometimes it’s due to electrical problems that need immediate attention. Other times the AC unit produces humming noises due to loose wiring.
6. Loud Clicking Sound
A consistent clicking sound signifies a defective thermostat, contractor, or controls. It’s a good idea that you leave electrical issues to professionals. You can sometimes hear loud clicking noises when an object finds its way into the blower fan, so it continuously hits against the fan as it runs.
7. Buzzing Noise From the Outdoor Unit
A buzzing sound from your air conditioner means that you could be having electrical issues. It mainly happens due to loose wiring or issues with the fan motor or circuit breaker. For the circuit breaker, the cause of the problem is usually dirty air filters or debris around the unit. Although it might seem like a simple issue to fix, electrical problems are hazardous and require a professional approach.
Other causes of buzzing noises include a dirty condenser coil, an imbalanced blower, a loose outdoor fan motor, copper lines rubbing against obstacles, and refrigerant leaks.
8. Unusual Whirring Sounds
Whirring sounds in an air conditioner usually appear due to mechanical problems in the indoor or outdoor fans. When the fan blades become loose, they produce some helicopter-like whirring sounds. The noises may also result from broken belts, and you need to call a professional to assist you with this.
Additionally, this can happen when a piece of paper or other debris gets trapped in the blower motor, causing rapid whirling sounds. If you can, remove the obstruction. Be sure to also keep the area around the unit tidy and discourage your kids from playing too close to it.
9. Pulsating Noises From the Outdoor Unit
A little pulsing noise from your air conditioner shouldn’t raise concerns since this happens with the unit’s normal operations. However, if the outdoor unit makes excessive pulsating sounds, such that you can hear them inside the house, you need to have the unit inspected. It’s a sign that there’s a loose part inside the appliance, like the fan motor, which may need replacement.
Other times this happens when the refrigerant line comes into contact with walls as it passes through. Contact a professional to move the refrigerant lines away from the walls and add insulation to stop the pulsing.
10. Whistling Noises
Whining or whistling noises from your AC unit signifies problems with airflow. It can happen if the ductwork is incompatible with your HVAC unit. Also, if the ductwork is too narrow for the air blowing through the appliance, it can cause whining sounds. This can happen when you have cracked ducts or clogged filters too. You can resolve this by cleaning or changing the filter, or you can call a professional to seal the ductwork.
Additionally, if you have an older unit with multiple repairs or replacements, it can produce whistling sounds if the parts fail to fit correctly.
11. Cracking or Popping Noises
If you notice constant cracking noises from your air conditioner, ice could be forming inside your unit. This happens when you set the temperature too low or when the system fails to drain appropriately. You can resolve this by setting your thermostat to a higher temperature. If the sounds persist, have a professional technician assess the issue. Additionally, pull out the drain pan, empty it, and clean it to prevent backup of cold water that can freeze in the air conditioner.
Investigate the cause of noises in your AC unit before calling a technician, as you may be able to resolve some issues with simple adjustments. If the problem persists or involves complex tasks like electrical faults or compressor replacement, contact a professional. Note that regular air conditioning maintenance can help prevent noise occurrence. An HVAC technician can identify problems early on and fix them to eliminate disturbing noises.
If you experience any noises with your AC unit, reach out to Reliable Ducts Heating & Cooling. We offer a range of services, including heating and air conditioning installation, replacement, and maintenance. Our company also deals with duct cleaning, duct repairs, ventilation testing, and humidity control services. We serve Jacksonville, FL, and the surrounding regions. Call us today to schedule an appointment.