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Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating Blog

Why Is My AC Making That Strange Sound?

ac-fan-blades
Spinning fan closeup.

Your air conditioner has a few built-in ways to tell you that it needs help. We don’t yet have air conditioning systems designed with complex artificial intelligence that can self-diagnose issues, alert their owners to the problem, and even contact a skilled contractor to fix the problem—although that may be in the future. For the moment, the warnings you’ll have to watch for will come in ways such as that odd noise you’re hearing right now.

Yeah, what does that noise mean? If we narrow down what the noise is first, we can help you find the answer. Below are some of the most common warning sounds that come from air conditioning systems and what they may mean. If you realize—or even suspect—that you need to have air conditioning repair in Scottsdale, AZ, because of these noises you can reach our technicians any time of the day or night to help you out.

Rattling

This might be a simple issue: the door of the AC cabinet is loose. Or it may be the rubber feet of the cabinet have worn away and the cabinet is rattling on the ground as it runs. Both are basic fixes. But this sound could also indicate loose parts inside the cabinets, such as in the blower fan. These problems will need professionals to fix.

Hissing

Does the noise you hear sound like it’s high-pressure gas escaping from a line? Surprise, that’s probably ­exactly what it is. This is the noise of refrigerant gas leaking from one of the copper refrigerant lines. Any loss of refrigerant charge is a huge problem for an air conditioning system. Not only does it impair the AC’s cooling power, it causes a change in refrigerant pressure throughout the system, and that will eventually cause the compressor to burn out.

Clicking

If you hear a clicking sound over and over when the air conditioner is turning on, then it likely means the compressor is hard starting, i.e. struggling to get enough electrical power to overcome mechanical resistance. Hard starting is a major problem that drains energy and can lead to a failed air conditioner. The problem may be with failing capacitors which technicians can replace, or the issue may require technicians install a special hard start kit that will overcome the resistance.

Grinding and Shrieking

These are mechanical noises that are hard to ignore. Nor should you ignore them! They are probably coming from the motors powering the fans or compressor. The shrieking is probably the bearings in the motors wearing down. If this is repaired soon enough, it can rescue the motor from more serious damage. Grinding often means a motor that’s burning out and will need to be replaced.

Clanging and Banging

This sound coming from either cabinet often means bent fan blades that are striking the casing. To prevent further damage to the AC, shut the system off right away and call for assistance.

Cool Touch Air Conditioning and Heating offers 24/7 emergency repair services for air conditioning systems. Call us for AC services in the Phoenix Metropolitan Area.

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