Like the peaceful sound of rolling ocean waves or a glistening waterfall in the distance, most air conditioners make a gentle wooshing sound when operating. OK … so, maybe your AC isn’t quite so tranquil, but it should be fairly quiet. If your air conditioner begins making unusual noises, it’s usually the sign of a problem, so don’t ignore it. If your AC is making any of these noises, it’s asking for help.
Odd noises are some of the best indicators that something is wrong with your AC unit. Weird sounds in your air conditioning unit may indicate problems, but in order to diagnose the specific problem, you’ll need to know exactly which of these sounds your unit has been making.
Here’s why your AC might be making those spooky sounds and what you can do about it:
1. Rattling Noise
One of the more common noises in AC units, rattling, is either barely noticeable or extremely annoying.
Rattling noises typically indicate a loose screw, nut, fastener, bolt, or some other small part within your unit.
It can also indicate that a piece of your unit has broken off and is vibrating on the bottom of your unit, as your air conditioner functions or be caused by parts of your unit being too close to the walls of your air conditioner.
Listen carefully to find where the sound is coming from and check to see if anything is loose. You may be able to quiet your AC with the simple twist of a screwdriver.
If you hear a rattling noise coming from your outdoor condenser unit, it may also mean that debris, such as large leaves or a twig, has gotten inside the unit. You should be able to remove any foreign objects by removing the fan grill. Just be sure to turn the unit off first.
If you still haven’t landed at a diagnosis, the issue may lay in your compressor, which is usually a sign your AC is on its last leg.
2. Banging Noise
If your air conditioner is making a banging noise, don’t be spooked. A banging noise could mean a few things, but it’s usually a sign that something inside the AC has come loose. A small part like a screw, spring, or bolt could have gotten loose and is being thrown around or something just may need to be tightened. Luckily, these scenarios are all easy fixes.
Banging can also be the result of broken parts within your compressor or an incorrect mounting of your compressor. If you see any shaking or broken pieces within your unit while it’s on, that’s likely the culprit. If not, the problem may require professional assistance.
3. Buzzing Noise
Buzzing is almost always a sign of electrical issues within your unit. If buzzing only occurs when triggering certain settings through your control panel, it’s likely just a faulty part.
If the buzzing is constant, it’s more likely to indicate a problem with the wiring, like a loose or exposed wire, causing electricity to spark within the unit.
A slight humming sound is common and usually doesn’t mean anything serious. However, a noticeably loud buzzing could mean loose parts, motor problems, or a variety of other issues. Have a professional technician inspect the situation.
4. Clicking Noise
Clicking sounds can be dangerous because they often have to do with your air conditioner’s electrical connection. It’s common for you AC to click once when it first turns on, but continued clicking is not normal.
Clicking sounds typically draw attention to electrical issues within your control panel. Faulty electrical signals create clicking noises with tiny sparks of electricity and by continuously causing switches to turn on and off.
Clicking is a vague sound to hear in an AC unit. Like rattling, it could imply that a part is loose and is barely hitting another part within your unit, but it could also indicate that your fan is brushing up against something as it’s spinning.
5. Loud Whistling or Screeching Noise
If you hear this noise, it’s best to turn the unit off as soon as possible. Screeching can be indicative of pressure building up and trying to escape within your compressor. While there are safety precautions installed to turn off the unit when this is detected, it’s still possible for this issue to occur.
If you hear a loud whistling or screeching noise, contact a repair technician immediately.
6. Squealing Noise
If your air conditioner is making a squealing noise, more than likely the fan belt is loose. You may need to have it replaced or simply readjusted.
A loose fan belt repair is not for an air conditioning novice so make sure to call a professional technician if yours needs to be replaced.
7. Hissing Noise
Hissing sounds indicate that there is probably a leak lurking somewhere, if you hear a hissing sound coming from your AC, it’s likely either a ductwork issue or a refrigerant leak.
There may be a leak in your ducts allowing air or refrigerant to escape. If air is leaking, and your system is not running efficiently, while refrigerant is also leaking, your family may be exposed to a dangerous chemical, so call an AC professional right away.
Unfortunately, this is usually not an easy repair, even for most professionals. Since there are so many areas within the intricate system that is an AC, it can be difficult to locate the leak yourself. Make your life easier and call a professional.
8. Humming Noise
Is your air conditioner making a humming sound? The culprit is most likely dirt and dust.
When air conditioning units get dirty, it can impede the fan’s circulation inside the unit. This can result in a loud humming noise. No reason to fret though—with a little practice, you can clean your air conditioning unit yourself.
Start by removing any excess weeds or plants that may have grown around the unit. Once the weeds are clean, remove the top of the unit and use a brush or cloth to gently wipe down any dirty and dusty components.
9. Bubbling Noise
Double, double, toil and…bubble? If your air conditioner is making a bubbling noise, no need to be frightened. A bubbling noise is usually a sign of low refrigerant levels. While you’ll need to have a professional add refrigerant, it’s a relatively easy fix.
Contact Climate Design for AC Repair in the Tampa Bay Area
At Climate Design, our experienced professionals speak AC fluently. If your air conditioner is making an unusual or alarming sound, call us for an accurate diagnosis and an efficient repair. We’ll have your AC quieted down and running smoothly in no time. Give us a call or schedule service online today.