The Meaning of Some Sounds You May Hear from Your AC

Home & Garden Blog

Air conditioning units normally work in a way that does not create abnormal sounds or noises. You soon get used to the "normal sound" of your air conditioning unit once that unit has been in place for a few weeks. However, the unit may develop some defects that will make it to emit a sound that you have not been accustomed to. This article discusses some of those abnormal AC sounds and what they may mean.

Banging or Clanking Sounds

If you hear a banging or clanking sound coming from your air conditioning unit, interpret that sound as a sign of major problems with the compressor. That compressor may have developed a loose connection in its piston pin, connecting rod, crankshaft or other internal components.

The unfortunate thing in such as case is that the compressor comes as a sealed unit so you cannot open it to establish what exactly is causing that noise. The only remedy available to you is to call a technician to replace the compressor before it completely fails.

Bubbling or Hissing Sounds

Both of these sounds are caused by refrigerant leaks. The difference is in where the leak has occurred. If the leak is a small one and it is located in the liquid refrigerant line (the one leaving the compressor unit) then you will hear a bubbling sound since the escaping gas will be creating room for air bubbles to get into the gas line.

A hissing sound will be emitted if the leak is in the line returning hot gas to the compressor unit. In that case, the hissing will continue until all the gas has leaked out and your air conditioner stops functioning. When you hear any of these sounds, call an HVAC technician to locate and fix the leak. Adding refrigerant into the unit without fixing the leak will only drain your pocket without fixing the problem.

A Buzzing Sound

This sound usually comes from close to the fan motor. You can hear it when you come close to the spinning motor and it fades as you move further from the unit. This sound indicates that the motor is failing because of a loose wiring connection or a burning relay switch. An AC technician can easily fix this defect before the motor is ruined.

You should be wary of electrical shocks when inspecting AC components. It is much better to contact a professional to check for, and repair AC defects so that you remain safe and avoid voiding your AC warranty.


22 May 2015

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