If you’ve followed our blog for a while, then you’ve probably seen us write about the sounds coming from your air conditioner that indicate the system is in need of repairs. Some of these sounds mean something as simple as tightening up a bolt on the cabinet door, while others may mean that your compressor is about to fail.
What you usually don’t see are blog posts that describe the noises that are actually okay to hear coming from your air conditioner. After all, there is no such thing as a completely silent air conditioner. That’s a nice thing to dream about in the future, but for now, air conditioners do make some noise. Read on to learn what sounds are actually alright to hear coming from the system.
Humming from the Compressor
This is actually a very important sound to hear! You see, the compressor is the most important, and the most expensive, part of your air conditioner. It makes the whole air conditioning process possible.
When your thermostat signals to the air conditioner that it’s time to start up, you’ll hear the compressor start up and then hear this gentle humming, followed by feeling the cool air come through the vents shortly after.
This is probably the loudest–although not annoyingly loud, some people like the brown noise–noise you’ll hear as your air conditioner operates, is the blower fan pushing air through the cooling system and into the air ducts, where it then comes through the vents.
This is a pretty steady and quiet sound that you absolutely should hear coming from your air conditioner.
The Dripping of Water
Water is not part of the cooling process, but it develops as a result of the cooling process! You won’t always hear water dripping, but if and when you do, as long as you don’t see it puddling anywhere near the system, it’s okay.
You might have seen a window AC unit from the outside at one point, to notice water dripping from it as it operates. This happens due to condensation collecting during the cooling process.
The same thing occurs with your standard central air conditioner, as condensate forms on the coils and needs somewhere to go. With your central air conditioner, instead of dripping out the window it drips into a condensate pan and drain before it exits outside through a carefully placed drain.
While you will ideally never see the water (if you see it anywhere other than exiting outside, give us a call) you may hear it from time to time.
You may have seen us mention in other blog posts that you shouldn’t hear rattling come from your air conditioner. If it is really intense rattling, this is true–you shouldn’t hear too much of it.
If it’s gentle rattling, however, right as your air conditioner starts or completes a cooling cycle, then you’re likely just hearing your ductwork fluctuate with the temperature changes inside of it. This is nothing to worry about, but if it intensifies, let us know! It’s possible there’s a loose ductwork joint or you need duct repair of some kind.