Air conditioning systems do make some noises. However, if your unit begins making noises that it does not normally make, it is a sign that you should call for service. Noises will not go away on their own and can eventually lead to your system breaking down. Here are five noises that you should not ignore.
1. High-Pitched Scream
A high-pitched scream or hissing sound coming from your AC’s outdoor unit can be a sign of a high-pressure buildup in the compressor. It may last 10-15 seconds before it stops. Your AC may frequently shut itself on and off. This can be a dangerous condition. You should turn off your AC and call for service.
A squealing sound coming from your inside unit is a common problem. It is often caused by a fan belt that is wearing out or has become misaligned. The noise may be intermittent and become more noticeable when humidity levels or temperatures change and cause the belt to contract or expand. You can still use your AC, but you should schedule service as soon as possible because eventually the belt will break, and your unit will not work.
Do you hear a screeching sound like metal on metal that begins when your AC turns on and continues until it turns off? This can be caused by fan motor bearings that have worn out. Eventually, your fan motor will seize, and your AC will no longer work. You should schedule service as soon as possible to avoid being without air conditioning.
4. Gurgling or Bubbling Noise
An air conditioner that is making a gurgling or bubbling noise could be a sign of one or two problems. It could be that your condensate drain line is making the noise and could have a clog in it or its drain. It might also be that your AC has a refrigerant leak. It is a good idea to call for service to determine the source of the problem.
5. Banging or Clanking
If your outdoor unit has a banging or clanking sound coming from it, it could mean one or two things. The fan in the unit could be hitting a stick or other object that should not be in the unit. It could also mean that the fan has become loose and is now wobbling and hitting its cage.
Small Problems Can Grow into Expensive Repairs
The sooner you call for service after hearing a strange sound, the better. Small problems can quickly grow into larger and more expensive repairs as other AC components experience more wear and tear.