Bangs, Screeches, and Hissing: AC Noises You Should Never Ignore
Imagine you’re sitting in your home, peacefully watching a TV show, or maybe even reading a book, and suddenly you hear a grinding noise that seems to be getting louder and angrier as each minute passes. It seems to be coming from outside—but what is it?
If it’s your air conditioner, it’s cause for concern! Really, any unfamiliar noise that is coming from your air conditioner should be reason enough for you to call air conditioning professionals to inspect the system. No matter the source of the sound, the problem isn’t going to go away by itself. Even if the noise is intermittent, it not only is the sign of a problem, but can cause further issues.
Grinding is just one example of a sound you don’t want to hear your cooling system to make, and typically comes from a motor’s bearings being worn down. This is a natural part of wear and tear, but should still be managed quickly to prevent overheating and subsequent system damage. What are some other AC noises you should be aware of? Read on!
Banging or Thumping
Noises that resemble banging or thumping are a clear sign that something is going on in your air conditioner—likely with the compressor. You’ll need to shut off your air conditioner right away and call in a pro. Neglecting to do so could leave you with a broken down compressor.
Generally speaking, if the compressor dies it pretty much means your whole air conditioner is shot. Not because compressors can’t be replaced, but rather in many cases they shouldn’t be replaced without replacing other components. Matching a new compressor to an aging air conditioner could leave you with just as many expensive problems as the initial issue.
Screeching or Squealing
This can be a quite alarming sound, and probably impossible to ignore even if you wanted to. But still, homeowners are often tempted to wait on repairs if they’re just not in the budget at the moment. Unfortunately, ignoring this sound and the problem it indicates can allow the problem to grow worse, and cause a domino effect with broken down components.
Hissing or Bubbling
If you hear a sound that resembles hissing, it might be air escaping from your ductwork, but a more likely culprit is refrigerant gas leaving the cooling system. Both of these problems cause AC efficiencies, but while an air leak will cause energy loss, a refrigerant leak can eventually cause a complete system breakdown.
If you do think you hear hissing, the best thing you can do is give our team a call so we can inspect it, and then patch up the leak, and recharge (refill) your refrigerant.
Hissing indicates a potential loss of refrigerant in its gas stage, and any bubbling sound you hear could be refrigerant leaving your system in its liquid form. If you hear bubbling, or if you see liquid dripping or pooling from anywhere around your AC, it’s time to call us!