Wouldn’t it be great if our air conditioners could send us a little warning when something is amiss? Like, we could get a text message to our smartphones telling us when a motor bearing needs lubrication or replacing, or when we have a refrigerant leak?
To be honest, this technology probably isn’t too far off in the future. But for now, we have to rely on other means to know when our air conditioners are suffering. Of course, you can limit the risk of sudden air conditioner problems by staying on top of your AC maintenance each year. But it’s also a good idea to know the signs of AC trouble to begin with. One of the most common signs of AC problems is loud and unfamiliar noises.
What noises are we referring to, exactly? Read on as we uncover what they are.
It’s not very likely that you have a banshee inside your air conditioning system. A more common scenario is a motor problem, or if not a problem a sign that a motor bearing has worn down. Fortunately, worn motor bearings are common and a natural part of wear and tear. However, they still need to be replaced right away.
Worn-down motor bearings eventually cause too much friction for the motor, and can permanently damage it. Our techs can quickly and accurately replace these bearings to save your motor and prevent further AC damage.
2. Mechanical Grinding
This is another indication of a motor problem and usually happens when the component has accumulated too much dust or has lost too much of its lubrication. Like the first sound we mentioned, this a natural part of wear and tear, but it’s not something you should ignore.
In addition to this grinding sound, you might also smell a foul odor coming from your vents. This is a sign that the motor already overheated, and requires quick repairs. Be sure to turn your AC off and give us a call!
3. Intense Rattling
You may hear some rattling as your air conditioner cycles on and off–it’s typically the ductwork shifting as the air flows through the ventilation system. It could also be that you have a loose cabinet door, which is something you may be able to check on and tighten up yourself (please don’t try to work on internal components, though).
What you shouldn’t hear is intense rattling the whole time your system is running. This could be caused by a loose component, and what will happen is the loose component will break off and cause a negative domino effect to other components, leading to a system breakdown.
4. Hissing or Gurgling
Depending on what stage the refrigerant is inside your air conditioner, you might hear a hissing or gurgling if it’s leaking out of your system. Accompanying this noise could be a loss of cooling power and possibly even ice development on the evaporator coil.
Clicking is another one of those sounds that is sometimes okay to hear. The gentle rattling we described above when your ductwork fluctuated is sometimes instead described as clicking. You’ll also hear clicking when your compressor is cycling down after the AC has shut off.
But if you hear loud clicking the whole time the system is running, it’s cause for concern.
This sound almost always indicates a loose component like a fan belt or blade. This is most likely to occur in older systems, but regardless of the age of your air conditioner, it’s time to give us a call the moment you hear this.