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Mike Smith Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC Blog

3 Bad Noises Coming from an AC


If a person isn’t feeling well, they can tell you in words. “I’m not doing so great. This is where it hurts.” But your air conditioner can’t do that. Similar to people, your air conditioner is likely to make unhappy noises when there’s a problem. But what do those noises mean? If you have an idea of what a strange air conditioner noise might mean, you’re more likely to take it seriously. Here are 3 noises you don’t want to hear!

Grinding or Groaning

Is your air conditioner trying to chew some gravel? Is it just tired of all the hard work you require of it and groaning in protest? If you hear these sounds, the problem is probably quite small and simple… as long as you get it fixed right away. Your air conditioner has a motor which powers the blower fan. Inside this motor there are ball bearings which keep it moving smoothly. If the bearings start to wear down, it can cause a grinding or groaning sound. Your AC technician can determine whether the bearings simply need to be lubricated, or if they’ve worn down enough that they need to be replaced. Either way, it’s much simpler than the repair that would be required if you let the problem continue without getting it fixed. When the bearings are grinding, they’re causing a lot of friction. This creates heat. Your air conditioner’s limit switch might start shutting the AC down frequently when it senses the heat. The wiring in the motor can even fuse together, burning out the motor entirely so it has to be replaced, if it gets hot enough.

Hissing or Trickling

Hissing is the sound of escaping gas, and trickling is the sound of escaping liquid. The refrigerant that runs through the air conditioner’s coils changes what state it’s in, evaporating to a gas when it absorbs heat and condensing back to a liquid when it releases that heat. Since the refrigerant can be in either state, when a spot on the coil is damaged or deteriorated, the refrigerant can make either a hiss or a trickle when it leaks out. Loss of refrigerant is hard on the whole AC system. With less refrigerant, it can absorb less heat, so it is forced to work more and more of the time. The real danger here is that it could put a lot of strain on the compressor, which pressurizes the refrigerant and forces it to flow. The compressor is essential—and so expensive that it’s often a better investment to get a whole new air conditioner if that one component fails. But a technician can find the leaking spot, patch it, and refill your refrigerant so you won’t have to worry about the compressor at all.

Rattling or Clattering

A simple loose component can make a lot of noise. Save your air conditioning in Sterlington, LA by getting it tightened up quickly! The last thing you want is for a rattling fan to become a flying-free fan crashing into more expensive components.

When in Doubt

If you hear any new, unusual, or loud sounds from your air conditioner, it’s because something is going wrong. Trust your instincts and catch the problem before something more serious develops.

Contact Mike Smith Heating & Air Conditioning, LLC. We provide “Professional grade service.”

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