It’s easy to focus on which air conditioner sounds might indicate a problem, as we did in our last blog post. But air conditioners are always making noise when they are on. If you familiarize yourself with the noises that mean everything is a-okay, you can relax and let them be ordinary background noise. To know which sounds mean that your air conditioner is operating exactly as it should, it can help to know which parts of the AC unit are making the noise, and why.
Your air conditioner has a fan that runs the entire time you have it turned on, unless your unit has an energy-saving setting that sometimes turns the fan off. This sounds exactly like any fan you’ve heard before, a steady whoosh of air passing through.
The compressor’s job is to get the refrigerant moving so it circulates between the evaporator coils and the condenser coils, moving heat out of your house. It turns on at the start of a cooling cycle and makes a humming sound, along the lines of a small electric motor. Once the target temperature is released, the compressor turns off, and the hum stops, leaving you with just the sound of the fan.
A small amount of water dripping or trickling is another sound you might hear. Because of the cool temperature of the evaporator coil, condensation can form on it from the humidity in the air. If your air conditioner sits in a window, that water drips from the outer portion of the unit. If you have a central air conditioning system, it flows outside through a drain. The sound of water should not worry you unless you are hearing it constantly, or it seems to be a lot more than usual.
Parts of your air conditioner are made of metal, including some of the housing and some of the ductwork. As you may have noticed thanks to your oven, metal can make some noise when it heats up and cools down. A rattle when the temperature changes is likely just ducts reacting to that change. This sound should only concern you if it happens constantly, in which case a duct may be loose.
At the end of the cooling cycle, when the compressor shuts off, there may be some clicks. This is the sound of components turning off, and should not cause you concern. If clicking happens at other times throughout the cycle, this may be a problem as mild as something loose that needs to be tightened. However, because it could also indicate an electrical problem, your unit should be inspected by a qualified technician immediately.
If you have any questions about whether a noise should be cause for concern, reach out with any questions about air conditioner repair in Snellville, GA. A quick answer may ease your mind, and a quick repair may save you the greater cost of continuing to use your AC until a small problem turns into a bigger one.