The last thing you want to do as a homeowner is to pay more for your utility bills than you need to, right? Well, if you aren’t keeping up on your air conditioning maintenance each year, this is exactly what can happen! Maintenance reduces repair needs by as much as 85% throughout the lifespan of the system, and also helps the unit work more efficiently, and last longer.
That said, even with maintenance, an aging air conditioner (10-15 years old) or even a newer AC with a defect or damage of some kind, may need a repair, and it’s important that you know the signs! One of these signs is strange noises–and the one that usually alarms people the most is screeching. So what does it mean if your air conditioner is doing this?
We’ll answer the question in more detail below, but it essentially means that your cooling system’s motor needs attention from an HVAC professional. Read on as we dive into what screeching means for your AC, and explain what other sounds could mean for the system.
Screeching Indicates Worn Motor Bearings
There’s a bit of good news here–worn motor bearings are part of normal wear and tear, and is something that is very easy for us to “fix,” by relubricating the bearings. This is something we can check on and do during maintenance!
However, if you let the screeching go on for too long, it means you’re letting those motor bearings wear down more and more. Eventually, this will cause too much friction–your motor will overheat and your entire air conditioner may break down as a result.
Please give us a call right away if you notice this noise, in addition to the sounds we’re about to describe below.
Hissing or Bubbling: Depending on where in the line it’s located, a refrigerant leak can create a hissing or bubbling sound. Refrigerant is the chemical solution that makes the cooling process work. Upon manufacturing, your air conditioner is supplied with a set amount of this refrigerant–it doesn’t “run out” like fuel does.
So if you’re losing refrigerant, it will eventually be detrimental to your cooling system. Our team can locate the leak, recharge (refill) the refrigerant, and patch up the hole or tear so this doesn’t happen again.
Hard-Starting: Your air conditioner is never going to be silent–it will always make some noise as it starts up. But if it seems to be starting up more and more abruptly these days, it’s a sign of a problem. Something is preventing it from powering up the compressor as easily as it once did, and this requires a professional inspection.
Clanging: No matter what type of appliance or piece of equipment we’re talking about, clanging can be a pretty alarming noise. You may be hearing something such as a loose fan belt, or a bent air handler that the fan blades are knocking into. This is most likely to happen in an aging air conditioner, but if you hear it in a newer one, it’s definitely time to call a pro!