July 14, 2020

When working properly, your air conditioner should make minimal noise. It may just produce some light humming sounds while it’s operating. However, if you begin to hear an unusual noise coming from your unit, it may be time to contact your local air conditioner professional. Neglecting the mysterious sounds coming from your equipment could turn minor issues into major, costly expenses down the road. Certain noises could signal anything from the need for a simple tune-up to basic repairs. The sooner you can pinpoint the cause of the noise and resolve your air conditioner issues, the better.

Here are some of the most common noises your air conditioning system could be making and what problems they may be signifying.

1. Banging

If you notice a banging or clanking sound coming from your AC unit, chances are that a part has become loose or broken and is being shifted by the air blowing from the condenser. The component could be as small as a nut, bolt, or connecting rod or as large as a fan blade. In any case, turn off your system and schedule an inspection with an experienced air conditioner technician. In many instances, the fix may be minor. However, a banging noise could also be an indication that you need a new compressor.

2. Clicking

Minimal clicking sounds are normal whenever your air conditioner turns on and off. However, if you hear a loud or unusual clicking noise whenever your AC unit is operating, the noise could be a sign of a failing thermostat, a problem with the electrical control, or an issue with another electrical part of your system.

If you hear constant clicking coming from your outdoor condenser, there may be a small object obstructing the fan. Before inspecting the condenser to see if anything is blocking the fan blades, shut off the air conditioner first.

3. Buzzing

A buzzing noise coming from your cooling system could be an indication of an electrical problem. Since electrical issues are dangerous, you should turn off your air conditioner immediately and contact a technician if you hear a buzzing noise. Buzzing sounds coming from your outside condenser could indicate:

  • Internal parts that have come loose
  • A loose or failing fan motor
  • Dirt or debris buildup within the unit
  • Fan blades that are out of balance or loose

Buzzing noises could also be the result of refrigerant leaks within the unit. If your air conditioner isn’t cooling your home properly or the coils constantly freeze up, this could be why.

4. Squealing

A squealing sound coming from the AC system could be an indication of a faulty belt. If you notice a squealing noise, contact a technician as soon as possible to have the belt replaced. Replacing the belt on the blower is a simple process that can be completed in no time. On the other hand, if the belt completely breaks, your air conditioner will quit operating.

If you hear a very high-pitched squealing noise, there could be a buildup of high internal pressure inside the unit’s compressor. Most air conditioners have built-in sensors that cause the system to shut off if the internal pressure gets too high. However, if the sensor is faulty, the pressure could rise to a potentially dangerous level. If your AC unit is making a high-pitched squealing noise, shut it off completely and contact a technician immediately.

5. Rattling

A rattling sound coming from your air conditioner could be an indication that the unit is beginning to deteriorate, as some of its parts are becoming loose. This noise could also stem from a loose fan. In this case, your first line of defense should be to look for loose bolts or screws within the casing.

Another common cause of rattling is twigs, leaves, or other debris that have clogged the system. If uncleared, debris can damage other components of the system. For this reason, regularly taking the time to clear tall grass and other debris around the perimeter of the condenser is highly important.

6. Clanking

A clanking sound could be a sign of an out-of-balance part inside the equipment. If internal parts have become loose, the compressor itself could be put at risk. Noises like these could create bigger problems if not quickly addressed.

For all of your heating and cooling needs, don’t hesitate to contact Bratcher Heating & Air Conditioning today. We proudly serve homeowners in Normal, Champaign, and East Peoria. Turn to us for heating and cooling repair, indoor air quality services, geothermal systems, furnaces, and more.

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