Common air conditioner problems and noises
Air conditioners are built to be quiet.
Trust your gut when you hear a strange sound coming from your air conditioner (the way you trust your gut when you hear something out of the ordinary from the engine of your car).
As soon as you notice any of the following noises coming from your AC, call us. If you catch it early enough, you might still avoid an expensive repair or replacement.
Each signals a different common issue, and some are easily repairable when caught early.
A gurgling noise while your air conditioner runs is usually:
- A refrigerant leak.
- Blockage in the condensate drain line.
Differentiating between the two issues can be tough just by listening.
If you’re experienced, you can check the condensate drain line and ensure it has a proper trap. We don’t recommend anybody fuss with refrigerant in an air conditioner.
Give us a call if you’re unsure and we’ll help sort it out.
A high-pitched screaming sound flares for the first 10-15 seconds after you turn on the AC.
It’s loud enough to hear from inside the house, and sometimes the AC starts and stops itself several times while this noise is active.
The problem is pressure. Pressure is building somewhere in your air conditioning system. The compressor is venting, causing the screaming sound.
This is one of the more dangerous sounds your air conditioner can make. Pressure can be explosive (not often – your air conditioner has a safety switch that trips should pressure get too high – but it’s still a concern).
Clanging noises happen any time your air conditioner is on.
This usually means the fan is vent or loose, hitting something as it spins. Some sort of obstruction may have worked its way into the AC fan area, or the fan came loose from the mount.
The longer it runs like this, the more damage your AC unit sustains. Enough damage might result in a significant repair bill.
Turn your AC off, call us and book a maintenance visit. Most homeowners prefer the minor cost of a maintenance visit to the relative expense of a repair.
A metal on metal rubbing sound that persists while the AC runs usually comes from run down fan motor bearings. This part can’t be replaced alone, so you need a new fan motor.
You can continue running the AC if it’s uncomfortably hot outside, but the sooner you get it repaired the better. Every small problem has the potential to lead to a larger problem if left unattended long enough.
Clicking can mean a few things.
- It might be just a small obstruction in the outdoor fan. If the clicking speeds up when the fan kicks on, it probably is.
- If it clicks but the AC never actually turns on, there is an electrical problem somewhere in the system. This could be a faulty thermostat, a compressor issue or a failing capacitor.
Your decision to get the AC fixed is usually closely related to the temperature right now. It’s cool today, so you are probably tempted to put it off.
But when the temperature returns to that uncomfortable heat, you want to know your AC is reliable and capable of keeping your family cool when the weather gets hot.
That’s why we recommend getting your AC looked at the moment you notice anything wrong. It’s best to be safe.
Call us in Burlington, Oakville or Hamilton if your AC makes any of these noises and we’ll make sure your family has cool air when needed.