What’s that sound? Three problematic sounds to listen out for in your air conditioning unit

woman wearing striped shirt holding mug and sitting in front of window

On a balmy week in late June, Jessica and her family are caught up in a whirlwind of tasks and to-do items before the summer holidays. Her two kids, Sarah and Tom, are eagerly anticipating a summer full of fun outings, camps, and holidays, while Jessica’s husband Derek is looking forward to building a new deck.

Jessica’s work and family calendars are starting to look a little too hectic for her taste.

That’s why her stomach drops when she’s out watering the garden one morning and hears a clear, sharp – BANG! BANG! BANG! She traces the sound to her air conditioning unit.

Surely, she thinks, this is not a good sign.

Jessica is correct in her immediate feeling of concern. If you hear unusual sounds coming from your air conditioner during normal operation, don’t ignore them! These could be signs that the unit needs a simple tune up, a full repair, or a replacement of the entire unit.

Here are some sounds to watch for in your air conditioning unit.

1.       Banging or clanking noises

If you hear a banging or clanking noise coming from your air conditioning unit, there may be a loose or broken part inside the air conditioning compressor. You should turn off your air conditioner and call an HVAC technician to come inspect the system to avoid any further damage.

The sound may also be originating from an imbalance in the blower fan located in the indoor air handler, or it may be an indicator that your system needs a compressor replacement.

2.       Rattling or squealing noises

The sound of rattling or squealing coming from your air conditioner may be normal upon start up of the unit. However, you should monitor for sounds which are outside the norm and suggest some flaws in proper operation of the unit.

Fan and blower motors on the air conditioning unit may make squealing noises when they need to be replaced. The blower wheel may also make this noise when there is a malfunction in their operation. Rattling noises can mean that parts are loosening – a check for these loose parts or possibly a replacement indoor air filter can assist in the repair.

3.       Buzzing noises

A buzzing noise coming from your air conditioning unit can be a challenge to diagnose in some cases. It could mean similar problems to the other warning sounds; such as, the outdoor fan motor is loose, the fan blades are out of balance, or the air filter needs to be changed.

It could also mean that there are debris in your indoor or outdoor unit, or a more serious refrigerant leak. A buzzing or hissing noise coming from your outdoor air conditioning unit could be a sign that a refrigerant leak has occurred due to a hole or crack in the coils that circulate the refrigerant.

Like our fictional friend Jessica, you may have an incredibly busy schedule in the late days of June. However, if you hear unusual or concerning sounds from your air conditioning unit – do not ignore them!

Act right away and call a professional to help identify the source of the problem. Here at Applewood Air, we are happy to help you identify and quickly resolve all your heating and cooling questions and concerns. Do not hesitate to give us a call!

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