hearing strange noises

Strange Air Conditioning Sounds You Shouldn’t Ignore

Strange Air Conditioning Sounds You Shouldn’t Ignore

Hot and humid Missouri summers require an air conditioner.  They work overtime during the summer months. Then, once the cold comes, they lie in wait for months on end.

All of this can lead to malfunction. The first clues of a major air conditioner malfunction are air conditioning sounds (strange sounds) coming from your system.

Here we will let you know the sounds that a normal system makes. We also give you the list of the most concerning air conditioning sounds you should not ignore.  Read on to find out more.

All Air Conditioners Sounds Make Various Noises

Here are some of the air conditioning sounds you can expect from a healthy AC system.

air conditioning sounds like an airplane

Just Like a Plane Launching into the Air, Your AC Makes Sounds at Startup

Air conditioning sounds during system startups include rattling, some clicking, and a woosh from the initial air burst from the system.

These air conditioning sounds are normal and you should hear the same types of sounds every time your unit kicks on.

There's Air Moving Through There, That Makes a Sound

You will always hear light and gentle whooshing noises when your AC is on. This will get louder as you walk under vents.

This should sound normal and not be alarming.

At the End of the Cycle, Don't Worry About That Click

Once you reach the ideal home temperature you'll hear some clicks. These are signaling the system is powering down until it's needed again.

Depending on the temperature on your thermostat this could happen many times in a day.

Now on to the important noises, the weird ones, the ones you shouldn't ignore.

Poppin Like It's Hot

If you hear air conditioning sounds such as a popping noise, it's probably not your AC. Popping can be a sign of shotty ductwork.

The popping occurs when the system kicks on and off. When the air rushes into, or out of the ductwork, popping at the joints can start.

While this can be annoying and be lowering your AC efficiency it won't blow your system up. However, it would be a good idea to get your ducts inspected.

Having your ductwork repaired will allow your AC system to work at its full capacity without burning unnecessary energy. While you're at it make sure that your insulation is up to snuff.

Between solid ducts and thick insulation, you'll have a powerful AC that can keep the temperature even with much smaller bursts of energy.

Continued Clicking Signal air conditioning soundsIssues

Air conditioning sounds that should concern you are extra clicking at startup. Pay attention to the startup noises of your unit.

Are they changing? Are there more clicks? Does the clicking go on for a while before the system comes to life?

These are clues that you may have a problem with your air conditioner capacitor. The capacitor starts the motor running when your system powers up.

Extra clicking is the first sign they are beginning to fail. If they fail the motor will not run and you'll be looking at a much higher repair cost. If the startup sounds change it's a good idea to call a professional.

Hissing Isn't Only a Sign of Nearby Snakes

hvac repair manYou have probably heard of refrigerant before. But, you probably heard it in relation to your automobile.

Refrigerant is the compound that keeps your air blowing cold. Refrigerant is used in vapor compression. It carries heat from a substance or fluid, cools it down, and throws it back into the atmosphere.

This applies in a vehicle's air conditioning system and in your residential HVAC.

The refrigerant circulates through the AC system in coiled tubing. Hissing points to cracks or leaks in this coiling. If the hole is substantial enough you may even hear a gurgling along with the hiss.

This is the most common problem associated with hissing sounds. However, hissing can point to several issues, none good for your system.

Some of these other problems could be:

  • Rusted heat pump accumulator
  • Faulty flare connections
  • Punctures in the capillary tube
  • Leaking valves
  • Leaking pump coil

In any case, don't ignore it, call in a certified HVAC repair professional right away to diagnose the system.

dinosaur sounds

Screeching Doesn't Mean There's a Velociraptor Nearby

In terms of AC repair, air conditioning sounds like screeching means there is a problem with the fan motor or compression mechanism in your unit.

Does the screech continue for the entire time the system is running? This points to a problem with the fan motor itself.

Does the screeching stop once the system is fully powered up? Your compressor is likely the issue and needs replacing.

In either case, it's not a good look. If either of these components goes your entire system crashes with them.

If you catch the problem early these are easy fixes. Ignoring the problem could lead to failure that would then harm the whole system which is a longer and more expensive fix.

While the screeching is annoying, replacing your entire HVAC system is even more annoying, and a bank breaker.

Buzzing Equals Danger, Turn Off Your AC Immediately

In air conditioning repair, a buzzing sound is never a good sign.

The lesser offenders could be a frozen system. Turn the system off and let it have a chance to thaw out. Try and keep the temperature at a mid-range to avoid future freeze overs.

A stuck condenser fan could also be the source of the buzz. The condenser fan pulls air from outside and brings it into the home. If a small piece of debris gets stuck the fan can't move.

The electrical impulse of the fan to move while stuck is the root cause of that annoying buzz.

Buzzing is also a major clue of a potential electrical malfunction in the AC unit. Loose wires, frayed junctions, all these can cause buzzing. Why is this so serious?

These types of malfunctions can cause major electrical fires within the walls. Electrical fires account for over 50,000 of the total fires in the US every year. They've caused billions of dollars in damage, hundreds of deaths and thousands of injuries.

If you hear buzzing, turn the AC system off immediately and call an emergency AC repair service. Your family's life and your home may be on the line.

loud banging noises

Banging, The Other B-Word That Means Bad News

Banging, like buzzing, is a major concern.

It's another reason to jump up right away and power the system down.

Banging is a surefire clue that something has come loose inside the unit. Might be a bolt or screw. Maybe the fan.

In every case, the AC needs that part to function. Banging can only mean bad news.

The loose component could hit a crucial part of the internal equipment. It could cause the fan to stall. The motor could suffer damage. A loose screw could cost you thousands of dollars and some hot, sleepless nights.

So, if your AC is banging, and not in a good way, you should Google, "air conditioner repair near me" ASAP.

Rattling in Your AC Should Rattle You to the Bone

Another sign of wear and/or something loose in your unit is a rattling sound.

Rattling points to many scenarios. It could be parts that are starting to come loose. It is a good sign your system is deteriorating. Or it may simply be some twigs that got caught up in the unit and are hitting the fan.

Whatever the cause, you shouldn't ignore a rattling sound. Go out and inspect the unit. Clear it off and make sure no debris is on top.

Do a visual inspection of any open gaps in the unit. If you see any debris you can grab and pull out, do so. Check to see if the rattling ceases.

If it's still keeping up it's best to call in an HVAC expert to give the system a good once over. After all, better to be safe than sorry.

HVAC Company in St. Louis

Ignoring These Strange Air Conditioning Sounds Isn't a Good Idea

We hope this list of concerning air conditioning sounds leaves you more in the know. This time when something goes bump in the night you'll know what the likely cause is and when to call a professional.

Remember, your HVAC system is a sensitive piece of equipment. It's also an investment if they need replacement. Don't try to perform a DIY AC repair.

Similar to electrical work, just because you maybe can fix it doesn't mean you should. If you hear your system start making any of these noises call in a professional repair team.

Do you live in Missouri? Are you having some AC troubles? Crystal Heating and Cooling have been in business since 1965.

Call us today and schedule an inspection. Want to learn more? Our blog is a great place to start.

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