It’s normal for your air conditioner to create some noise when running—that simply means it’s working. Although older units are typically louder than newer ones, all air conditioning noises are not the same.
Despite your air conditioner’s age, any sound coming from the unit can still be bothersome. If your air conditioner is producing an unusual sound, that could mean trouble. So instead of risking injury to you or your system by poking around the unit yourself, play it safe and call a professional to come inspect it for you.
To avoid any of these potential issues, we at JMAC Plumbing and Air Conditioning recommend getting a maintenance inspection at least once a year to determine the health of your air conditioner, regardless its age or noise level. According to ENERGY STAR®, “proper maintenance by a qualified professional technician is one of the most important steps you can take to prevent future problems.”
Air Conditioner Common Noises
We have heard our fair share of unusual hums, buzzes, and clatter coming from air conditioners throughout the years, so below is a list of the most common noises we have found and the problems they can indicate.
A distinct rattle could be the cause of a loose bolt, screw, fastener, or another small part that fell into the vents. It could also be your compressor or an issue more serious than a loose part. If you suspect any of these, you need one of our skilled technicians to look into the problem further.
A grinding or noticeable rubbing or scraping sound most likely means there is a problem with one of the fan motors. It’s also possible the noise can be originating from a worn bearing or a loose or damaged belt. This is sometimes more commonly associated with older air conditioning systems.
A popping noise might be coming from your air ducts when your air conditioner turns off and on. This usually indicates a problem with your ductwork and not necessarily a problem with your central air. Even though these potential problems can be easily confused, ductwork still ages the same as any other heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) equipment and requires routine maintenance to be sure it’s functioning efficiently and effectively in your home.
If you hear a hissing, it’s likely this type of noise is generating from within your ductwork, so let one of our knowledgeable technicians take a closer look. We can pinpoint the source and tell you if there is a bigger issue involved, such as a refrigerant leak, where a more detailed repair would be necessary.
Your air conditioner is a complex piece of machinery with many moving parts and, like a car, it requires regular maintenance by experienced professionals like ours at JMAC Plumbing and Air Conditioning to diagnose and treat any potential problems. Don’t ignore the signs if you suspect there could be an issue with your air conditioner. Give your unit the proper attention it needs to operate in prime condition for years to come.