Wouldn’t it be nice if someday there was a way for our air conditioners to tell us when they weren’t feeling well? Like, an app that sends us a text message saying, “Help! My refrigerant is low!” or “I think I have a bent fan blade.”
The truth is, this reality is probably not too far off in the future. But for now, it’s up to homeowners to keep an eye and ear out for problems and give our team a call to investigate. One of the most common signs of a problem is strange or unfamiliar noises coming from the air conditioning system. What sort of noises do we mean? Read on!
Do you hear something that resembles metal on metal? Then you probably are listening to metal on metal! This is a common sign of a motor problem. The good news is, this is a natural part of wear and tear and easily “fixable” so long as you call for repairs right away.
What’s probably happening is that your motor bearings–lubricated components that keep the fan and blower motors in place–have begun wearing down and causing friction. These bearings may need to be replaced once or twice throughout the years.
This is another indication of a motor problem. It’s usually caused by a motor that accumulated too much dust, or lost too much lubrication–and this is also another natural “wear and tear” situation. But that doesn’t mean you should ignore the problem or delay repairs.
This is especially true if the sound is accompanied by an acrid stench from your ductwork as this is a sign that your motor has begun overheating as a result of the stress.
It’s natural to hear some rattling as your air conditioner operates. The ductwork shifts as the AC cycles on and as the temperatures fluctuate. But you shouldn’t be hearing excessive rattling that never seems to stop the whole time your AC is running.
For instance, rattling coming from the cabinet can be the sign of a loose component that’s being knocked around in your blower fan. You could end up with far more damaged parts neglecting the repair than just addressing the repair need to begin with.
Hissing or Bubbling
Depending on what stage the refrigerant process is, you may hear a hissing or bubbling sound when you have a leak. Refrigerant is the fluid-to-gas substance that makes your air conditioner’s cooling process possible. Without the correct level–charge–of refrigerant, your air conditioner will begin experiencing a variety of problems, including full system failure.
In addition to a hissing or bubbling noise, refrigerant leaks can cause a drop in cooling power and potentially ice development on the evaporator coil. A note about ice: you should never see it developing on your system, and you definitely shouldn’t try to chip it off on your own, as you could wind up causing further system damage.