When warm weather hits quickly, your air conditioner may be kicked into full gear before you have time to think about a preseason check-up. You may suddenly notice subtle (or not so subtle) noises that you don’t remember from last year. While many noises mean it’s time for a tuneup, some can signal that you are headed for major problems unless you show your AC unit a little TLC. Here’s are some common AC noises and what they really mean:
Rattling can range from a minor problem to threats to the health of your air conditioner. If you notice rattling, it’s probably a sign that parts are loose or something (like twigs and plant debris) has clogged your system. Check for missing bolts or screws, a loose fan or any other part that needs tightening. If this doesn’t solve your problem, clean around the unit removing twigs and leaves that may be causing the rattling sound. These will typically stop the rattling, but beware! Rattling that is not relieved by tightening the unit and removing debris may be a sign that the electrical contractor inside your unit is ready to fail. Ignoring it could lead to further damage to your air conditioner.
If you hear loud banging coming from your AC, it is probably a sign that something is broken, like a crankshaft, piston pin or connecting rod. However, there are other causes for banging noises too. It could indicate that your compressor needs maintenance or replacing, or that your indoor blower is off balance. If you hear loud banging from your AC unit, turn it off and wait until your HVAC contractors arrive to assess the situation.
If your AC unit lets out a loud squeal, it’s likely from a motor going bad. This may be either your indoor fan blower or the outdoor fan motor letting you know it is about to fail. Likewise, the sound could be coming from a malfunctioning blower wheel or housing. If the sound only occurs upon startup, talk to your HVAC contractor to determine if this is normal for your unit.
If you hear a high-pitched whistle or scream, shut the unit down right away and call your AC contractor. This generally indicates that you have a refrigerant leak and your unit needs to be serviced immediately.
You are probably accustomed to the clicking sound of your AC when it starts up or shuts down, but if you hear similar clicks at other times, this could mean you are experiencing problems with the electrical components inside your AC unit. Ignoring them could cause the system to fail and create larger problems. If you hear clicking sounds, contact your HVAC contractor to have your unit serviced.
If you are having difficulty identifying the sounds from your air conditioner or want to make an appointment for routine servicing, contact us at Buckeye Heating & Cooling today. We can assess and correct potential problems with your HVAC unit before they become major issues.