Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical

5 Common Air Conditioning Sounds You Shouldn’t Ignore

5 Common Air Conditioning Sounds You Shouldn’t Ignore

If you want your household air conditioner to remain healthy and reliable, you need to know how to recognize when it’s experiencing a mechanical problem. That way, you can promptly take action when your cooling system needs professional attention. In many cases, addressing the issue quickly can save you quite a bit of money and hassle in the long run, whereas letting it linger for weeks or months may make things significantly worse. One of the most common symptoms of a malfunctioning or damaged air conditioner is the presence of loud noises during operation. When everything’s running smoothly, your AC unit should be relatively quiet; you should feel the system working, but you typically shouldn’t hear it.

If you suddenly notice that your home’s cooling system is making an unusual amount of noise, it’s a pretty clear indicator that something isn’t right. That said, there are several sounds that you may hear from your ailing air conditioner, and each of them means something different. Here, we’ll cover a handful of the most common AC noises and why they typically occur.

A woman with hand to ear listening to sound intently in front of a pink background

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1. Screeching Noise

If your air conditioner starts making a high-pitched screeching or shrieking noise, it should be pretty tough to miss, and it’s definitely not something you should ignore. There are several potential reasons why this annoying sound may be happening. Most commonly, a screeching air conditioner is the result of either a malfunctioning fan motor in the system’s outdoor condenser unit or a broken motor in the compressor. Both of these components are essential for the air conditioner to effectively cool down your home, and you won’t want to wait long to have them inspected.

It’s also possible that the screeching noise could be due to your home’s blower fan motor being damaged. The blower fan has the important job of collecting warm air from your interior living space, sending it through your ducts to your air conditioner, and then redistributing the air after the system has cooled it down. Your local HVAC professionals will be able to determine which of these important components is causing the sound and either repair or replace the part.

2. Banging Noise

Another common air conditioning sound is a loud banging noise, and it’s almost always caused by an issue with the unit’s compressor. The compressor is responsible for distributing refrigerant to different parts of the air conditioner, which allows the system to cool down your household air. Usually, the banging sound is a result of one or more components becoming loose inside the compressor. It’s quite common with older AC units for these parts to get knocked loose, which leads to them colliding with the compressor’s exterior framing while the appliance is operating.

When you hear this type of noise from your air conditioner, you should shut the system off and schedule a professional inspection as soon as possible. Otherwise, the loose component(s) may cause damage to other parts of the compressor, which will exacerbate the problem and may lead to a more expensive repair job. It’s also worth noting that disassembling an AC unit’s compressor is not a simple job, and if your system is on the older side, the most prudent choice may be to upgrade to a new air conditioner.

3. Buzzing Noise

You also won’t want to ignore it if your air conditioner starts making a loud buzzing noise. This type of sound can indicate quite a few different issues, and you probably won’t know for sure what’s going wrong until experienced technicians get a look at your cooling system. One possible cause is the fan blades in your outdoor condenser unit being either loose or unbalanced. When these components become loose, it can result in metal parts improperly touching, which leads to the electrical current causing a buzzing sound. Alternatively, the buzzing noise could be due to the outdoor unit’s fan motor malfunctioning or the condenser coils being excessively dirty. With this type of sound, the problem may be relatively minor, but it could also be pretty serious, so you shouldn’t hesitate to get it checked out.

4. Rattling Noise

While a rattling noise from your air conditioner doesn’t typically indicate a major problem, it’s still something that you should address promptly. Usually, this kind of sound means one of two things. In the best-case scenario, the rattling is a result of random objects, such as twigs, leaves, and debris, getting into the system’s outdoor condenser unit. If that’s the issue, you should be able to disassemble the outdoor unit and remove anything that shouldn’t be there, which should put a stop to the noise.

Alternatively, the rattling noise could be a sign that a component within the air conditioner has become loose and is moving around while the system operates. In that case, you’ll likely need an HVAC professional to get into the appliance and tighten or reattach the part.

5. Bubbling Noise

If you hear a bubbling or gurgling noise coming from your AC unit, it’s most likely due to excess moisture within the system. Usually, that means that something is preventing the appliance from effectively draining the water that it pulls from your indoor air. While there are several issues that may be hampering proper drainage, the most common cause is the system’s drainage line being clogged. If this problem isn’t addressed quickly, it may lead to significant amounts of water overflowing the AC unit’s drain pan and spilling into your home. Before you know it, you could be dealing with water damage and mold growth.

If you have experience dealing with air conditioners, you may be able to clean out the drain line yourself using a long scrub brush. However, you should only attempt to do so if you know what you’re doing; otherwise, you risk damaging the system further. When in doubt, the best route is always to contact trusted HVAC professionals.

Expert Cooling Services in Southgate, Michigan

When the scorching summer weather arrives in Southgate, MI, the last thing you’ll want to deal with is a malfunctioning or broken-down air conditioner. If your cooling system is making any type of unusual noise, you shouldn’t hesitate to take action. Give Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical a call at (734) 285-1809, and let our expert technicians do what they do best. We’ll inspect your AC unit, figure out exactly what’s causing the issue, and apply an effective, long-term solution.

Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical, Inc.

Locally owned and operated in Southgate, MI since 1955, Flo-Aire Heating, Cooling & Electrical is one of the top heating & cooling companies in Southeast Michigan. Flo-Aire provides residential, commercial and industrial HVAC services throughout all of Metro Detroit.


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