Those strange noises may be telling you that you need an emergency air conditioner repair

April 9, 2016


Those strange noises may be telling you that you need an emergency air conditioner repair!

Here’s a deal we’d like to strike with all past, present and future customers of Charlie’s Tropic Heating & Air Conditioning: They won’t ignore strange noises coming from their air conditioner and we will never – ever – make them feel silly for describing them to us.

Here’s why: strange noises almost always signal a need for an emergency air conditioning repair. Like most major appliances, your air conditioner usually makes a strange noise when something is seriously wrong. Ignoring the underlying problem will only cause it to get worse. And the problems that could ensue in the meantime? They include compromised efficiency and higher electricity bills – not to mention the prospect of having to replace, rather than repair, your air conditioner.

That’s your part of the deal. Just keep in mind that Charlie’s will ask you to describe the strange noise – at least to the best of your ability. Different noises signal different problems, and while Charlie’s air conditioning experts will be able to diagnose the precise problem when we see your air conditioner in person, a heads-up will help direct our efforts so that we can really hit the ground running when we arrive at your home.

Tune your ear to indoor noises

Most air conditioner noises stream from three places:

  • The evaporator (located indoors)
  • Your home’s ductwork
  • The condenser (located outdoors)

Indoor air conditioner noises usually are easier on the ears than outdoor noises, but you cannot afford to ignore them. Common indoor noises include:

  • Clicking, which might originate in the fan motor or the thermostat.
  • Rattles, which often start with the fan.
  • Duct work noise, which can range from hisses and whistles to roars. As you’ve probably noticed, some duct noise occurs as your duct work expands and contracts. This is normal. But regular hisses and whistles usually signify air leaks, which can drastically reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner. Other duct noise, such as buzzing, clanking or rattling, might emanate from the air handler. And if you hear a humming, fluttering or gnawing sound in your ducts, you guessed it: a wasp, bird or mouse might be stuck there.

Don’t panic over outdoor noises

Outdoor air conditioner are more likely to get your attention. If you hear one of these noises, take no chances: turn off your air conditioner and then call Charlie’s right away. When we ask you to describe the noise you hear, keep in mind that we love realistic sound effects, such as:

  • Banging, an indication of a broken or loose part, such as a connecting rod or piston pin
  • Clanking or a mixture of banging and clanking, another indication of a broken or loose part
  • Hissing, although it also can resembling bubbling, an indication that refrigerant is leaking
  • Humming or buzzing, an indication of an electrical problem, perhaps with the relay switch or motor, or loose wiring
  • Screaming or squealing, an indication of too much pressure building in the compressor
  • Trombone- or trumpet-like noises, an indication of a leaking refrigerant valve

We realize that it can be downright jarring to hear a strange noise coming from your air conditioner. But remember that the consequences of ignoring it could be even more jarring. Think of these noises as a cry for help. You can answer the cry by calling Charlie’s for an emergency air conditioning repair without delay — and silencing the noise and your worry at the very same time.

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  1. I had no idea that the noise from my AC unit might indicate a problem. I’ll have to find out where the noise is coming from so that I can help the repairman. Thanks for the warning about how if you don’t fix it soon you might have to replace your entire unit.

  2. You mentioned that when you hear a rattling sound coming from your AC, it may be caused by the fan. That is what has been the case with our air conditioning and I have been really concerned that there is something really wrong with our system. I’ll have to call a repair service right away! I’m so glad that I found this article, thank you for sharing!

  3. Our air conditioner has been keeping us up at night with weird noises and we are wondering if there is a problem with the system. It is good to know that the only noises coming from the air conditioner should stem from the evaporator, your home’s ductwork, and the condenser. Thank you for informing me that noise might originate in the fan motor or the thermostat. We will get the system inspected to ensure everything is running properly. Thanks for the information.

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