What’s That Sound? Warning Noises that May Mean You Need AC Repair

Listining to broken AC unit

Everyone’s air conditioning unit makes some type of noise when it’s functioning, but the type and quality of the sound can also be a diagnostic tool. If you notice new sounds, or if the unit is louder than normal, it could indicate that you need AC repair.

If you think your air conditioner is making unhealthy noises, run through this article to see what may be causing it and what you can do about it.

AC is making Screaming, Screeching, or Whistling Sounds

In addition to being annoying at best and unnerving at worst, a screaming or screeching sound could indicate a major issue with your AC. Turn off your air conditioning unit immediately, as these sounds could be caused by a refrigerant leak. If it is leaking, the fluorinated hydrocarbons found in traditional refrigerants can be toxic if inhaled in high amounts. Keep the AC off, avoid the unit itself, and get in touch with one of our licensed techs for emergency AC repair in Austin.

If it sounds more high pitched rather than whistling, it could instead be a pressure imbalance in your compressor. While this imbalance isn’t as dangerous as a refrigerant leak, it can cause premature failure in your AC’s compressor or your overall HVAC system. You’ll still need air conditioning repair, since this failure could decrease your unit’s overall cooling efficiency or result in a total shut down– and no one wants that!

AC is making Squeaking or Squealing Sounds

These sounds are more high-pitched and could be entirely normal when your AC is first firing up, especially in the spring. When your air conditioner has been resting all winter, its components have also been weathering the elements. Your outdoor motor fans could be worn down, or your blower wheel may not function properly, or the belt may have slipped off entirely in older units. 

We recommend scheduling an AC tune-up around the start of spring so that our techs can ensure your unit is in tip-top shape before you need it, both to prevent repairs and to keep your cool air blowing all summer long.

AC is Making Buzzing or Rattling Sounds

Buzzing sounds can be a more difficult sound to diagnose from the noise alone. Typically, if something is buzzing inside your air conditioner, it’s some loose part vibrating against something else, but it’s impossible to determine what part that may be without taking a look. The most common culprits are the outdoor fan motor, unbalanced fan blades or blowers, or even copper lines rubbing up against other components. 

Luckily, the majority of loose parts are easily fixed or replaced, so we’ll make sure your AC is back in working order in no time.

AC is Making Knocking or Banging Sounds

Similar to a buzzing sound, knocking or banging is usually an indication that something is loose, but it could also mean that a part has disconnected or broken off completely. Common parts that may come loose or break off include:

Connecting rodBlowerMotor mountsCrankshaftPiston pinScrews

If the banging is loud and sudden, turn off your AC to prevent any further damage from the loose part banging up against the other components. But don’t worry– we’re here 24/7 to help with AC repairs, so you won’t have to keep it off for too long.

AC is Making Popping Sounds

Most popping noises will start while your air conditioning unit is running, and, if it continues for a bit after your AC has stopped its cycle, it could be from the air blowing through your ducts rather than the unit itself. If that’s the case, there’s likely something in your air ducts that’s blocking the air. 

Over the course of the year, mold, pollen, dirt, dander, and other debris build up in your ducts, and the blockage can make your AC work much harder than it needs to– which you’ll notice in your electricity bill as well. Professional air duct cleaning is a quick, simple process to clear out your ducts and improve your home’s indoor air quality

Hearing Something Else? Give Us a Call!

It can be hard to describe sounds or determine if they’re out of the ordinary, but if you suspect something is off with your air conditioner, get in touch! Our AC experts are ready to work on any type of AC with any sort of problem, so you don’t need to have it figured out. Contact us for service today to keep your air conditioning running smoothly and cooling your home when you need it most.

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