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Common AC Sounds and What They Mean

  • Oct 26, 2020
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You might sit down to relax one night and hear an awful noise from your air conditioning unit. Sometimes, the noise your AC makes is a sign something is wrong, and you need to contact a professional for a repair soon. This guide will help you understand which noises require a visit from an HVAC specialist before you continue to use your unit.

  1. Popping 

Unless you have popcorn cooking while you run your AC, you likely want to shut down your system immediately if you hear multiple pops from your unit.

When you hear this particular noise, the sound often means you have a problem with your AC’s compressor. Particularly, this sound means that liquid refrigerant is in your unit’s intake system. Keep in mind that in a unit that functions normally, the refrigerant enters the output.

If you let your unit continue to run, your unit may suffer from extensive damage.

  1. Vibrating

Your AC makes a continuous noise as it runs, but you want to take notice if the unit emits a continuous vibration or continues to re-cycle. While these sounds may mean that you have a thermal overload, the sounds are more likely from a problematic start capacitor. The start capacitor may continuously try to restart, which can cause your unit to fail completely.

On the other hand, a repeated cyclic noise or vibration could mean that you have a thermostatic expansion valve problem. The value may remain in an open position or need a readjustment. With this particular problem, the liquid refrigerant may enter into the compressor and destroy your unit.

  1. Rumbling

Another noise that an AC unit may make is a rumble. This sound might indicate you have a loose component somewhere in your system. For instance, a rumble may mean you that you have a loose blower mount.

A loose motor mount may also cause this noise. In some cases, the rumble may stem from a loose component in your ductwork or your blower fan assembly.

  1. Clanging

Additionally, your air conditioning unit may clang or bang. These noises indicate an issue with your unit’s fan.

Generally, a repetitive clang or bang means that your fan repeatedly hits an obstacle as it spins. On the other hand, the fan may no longer have a connection with the mount, and the fan now continues to hit the cage as it spins.

This particular sound isn’t one you should ignore until it worsens because your unit may sustain damage.

  1. Bubbling or Gurgling 

Additionally, your AC unit could bubble or gurgle. This sound tends to mean you have an issue with your condensate drain line or your unit’s refrigerant line.

The gurgling sound may stem from your condensate drain’s trap, while a gurgle may mean that you have a refrigerant leak.

  1. Squealing 

In addition, you may notice your AC squeals. Sometimes, the noise isn’t static because humidity and varying temperatures may lead to expansion and contraction of the belt. This sound may occur on a unit that has a belt in between the motor and fan. Unfortunately, this belt may sometimes slip from its intended position. In some instances, the belt may wear out.

Although this noise doesn’t indicate a serious issue, your belt may break completely and leave you without a way to cool your home.

You don’t want to hear that your AC makes any type of noise beside its usual sounds. However, some sounds don’t indicate a serious problem, while others may mean your unit won’t function much longer without the help of a repair visit.

Schedule a repair if your AC unit makes an odd noise by contacting Lakeside Heating & Air Conditioning, serving Lakewood, Wheat Ridge, Littleton, Denver, and the nearby regions today.