Strange AC Noises and What They Mean

It’s that time of year again—the time where air conditioners are put on full-blast for most of the daylight hours in order for homeowners to keep their households cool and comfortable. More use, however, means more strain on the system, which equates to more of an opportunity for a system breakdown. It’s important to be aware of when you might need air conditioning repairs in Highlands Ranch, CO.

One of the easiest warning signs to identify whether you do in fact need air conditioning repairs or not, is the presence of strange or unfamiliar noises while your air conditioner is operating. If your air conditioner does in fact make odd sounds, then keep reading to find out what they may mean.


The most common reason for this type of sound is that your air handler may be ready to fail. The air handler of your cooling system is the component of the AC system responsible for circulating air throughout the ducts while the system is on. It’s basically a large motor, with a fan attached to it.

The air handler is tasked with moving a lot of air, which creates friction on the air handler motor. This motor contains oiled bearings, and this helps it run more smoothly and reduce friction. However, these bearings wear down over time. As they do, the friction on the motor grows, and the result is a grinding sound. You’ll want to ensure that you have the bearing replaced so that the air handler doesn’t overheat and burn out.


Have you ever noticed a noise coming from your AC system that’s akin to liquid being sucked through a straw? If so, it’s probably that you have air bubbles in your refrigerant line—due to a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant is the chemical blend of fluids that your AC system relies on in order to transfer heat out of the home.

As the refrigerant level in your AC system drops due to a leak, the output capacity of your system will drop too. Eventually, your cooling system won’t be able to keep functioning with such low refrigerant, and it will break down all together. If you hear this noise, particularly if it’s accompanied by an obvious leak in your system, call for repairs ASAP.

Short Cycling

Do you hear your AC system cycling on, only to cycle back off a few minutes later, and rapidly cycle back on again? This is one of the worst problems you can encounter with your cooling system—it’s a process called short cycling, and it’s a problem because it causes your air conditioner to wear down faster than it would otherwise.

This increases the rate in which problems develop within the cooling system, and it will also shorten your system’s lifespan. Causes of short cycling vary from a damaged compressor to a short circuit in the thermostat. Short cycling is also a symptom of an air conditioner that is too large for you home—but you’d notice this immediately after installation, if this is the case. Regardless, short-cycling is a serious issue that must be remedied ASAP.

Contact Aurora Plumbing Company for all of your cooling system needs. We have someone in your neighborhood today!


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