If we were to travel to the future, we’d probably find air conditioners with the ability to text our smartphones when they had a problem. Unfortunately, time-travel isn’t a reality, and our air conditioners aren’t sentient, so it’s up to us to know when something is wrong.
Maybe you’ve noticed a drop in cooling power in your AC, or you have had an unexpected increase in your energy bills. Perhaps even the circuit breakers for the air conditioner keep tripping.
These are all common signs that something is amiss with your air conditioner, but perhaps the most popular sign is unfamiliar noises like the ones we’ve listed here
Do you hear a loud, mechanical shrieking noise? This is likely an indicator of a motor problem, or at least the sign of a worn down motor bearing. This isn’t necessary a terrible problem but it must be remedied ASAP.
Worn-down motor bearings will eventually cause too much friction for the motor, and will permanently damage it. Our professionals can quickly and accurately replace the bearings to save your motor and prevent further subsequent damage.
This is also indicative of a motor problem. This sound is usually caused by a motor that has accumulated a large amount of dust or debris, or one that’s lost too much lubrication. Our professionals check on this during maintenance, but if you were late to schedule your tune-up, it’s definitely a possibility.
In addition to the grinding sound, you may also detect a burning odor from your vents–this is a sign that the motor is overheating. Be sure to turn off your cooling system right away and give our pros a call!
Some slight rattling is actually somewhat normal, caused by a loose cabinet door or by your ductwork shifting with the temperature fluctuations as your system cycles on.
However, if it’s intense or very loud and sudden rattling you hear, it might be that loose components are getting knocked around in the blower fan, or that you have bent fan blades. It could even be that your AC cabinet is coming loose from the slab, or you have duct damage and that’s what is causing the noise.
If the refrigerant is in liquid form, this is a sign of a refrigerant leak. If you lose too much of it, your cooling system will start experiencing problems until it completely breaks down.
If you notice this sound in combination with a loss of cooling and/or ice development on the coils, it’s definitely time to give us a call, as this is very likely a refrigerant leak you’re dealing with.
AC compressors often click as they’re cycling down. If you hear clicking the whole time your compressor is running, however, it could indicate a problem.
Also, if you discover your air conditioner hard starting–struggling to come on and booming once it does–it’s a sign that it is struggling to power the compressor and needs a professional inspection.
This may be one of the most alarming sounds you can hear come from your AC system. It can be something like a loose fan belt, or a bent air handler that the fan blades are knocking into.
This is most likely to happen with an aging air conditioner. However, if you hear it in a new air conditioner, it’s absolutely a sign that you need to call in a pro!