Odd Air Conditioner Noises and What They Indicate
Summer is when air conditioners are put under the most strain, which makes them more prone to developing issues of various kinds. Perhaps you scheduled preventive maintenance for your air conditioner, to make sure that it’s in top condition during the summer season. We certainly hope you did, and if not you should do so as soon as possible. Even if you have, though, you should know that there is still a chance for issues of various kinds to develop in the system. One of the most obvious signs that an air conditioner is malfunctioning is if it starts making odd noises during operation. Let’s go over some of the more common sounds that indicate an issue with the air conditioner.
A grinding sound likely means that the air handler motor in your air conditioner needs some attention. The motor contains lubricated bearings designed to keep it running as smoothly as possible. The bearings do need to be replaced on occasion, though. As the bearings wear down, the friction on the air handler motor increases until it starts to make that grinding noise. If the bearings are not dealt with in time, the motor will overheat and burn out.
Short cycling is when the air conditioner turns itself on and off without completing a full cooling cycle. It can be caused by an electrical issue or a damaged compressor. There are two main problems that short cycling presents for the system. The first is that it prevents the air conditioner from cooling as well as it normally does. It can’t complete a full cooling cycle, after all. The second issue is that short cycling increases wear and tear on the system. The longer the air conditioner short cycles, the more prone to various other issues it’s going to become. If you let it go on long enough, it can shorten the lifespan of the air conditioner by a number of years. Make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice it making this noise.
Hissing means you probably have air bubbles in your refrigerant line, which means you have a leak. Refrigerant leaks are not something you want to ignore, because the system is not supposed to need any refrigerant refills during its lifespan. The lower the refrigerant level drops in the system, the less able it will be to cool the home. This will eventually lead to the entire system breaking down. If you notice fluid of any kind dripping from your air conditioner, especially if it’s accompanied by hissing or a drop in output, you should definitely call for repairs as soon as possible.
These are just a few of the warning sounds that your air conditioner is in trouble. You should always call for repairs any time you notice odd noises coming from your system.