What’s That Sound Coming from Your AC?

June 1, 2021 2:01 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

Air conditioners aren’t exactly silent, but they shouldn’t be making a lot of noise, either. If you hear a lot of sound coming from the AC in your Portage, MI home, it may be a sign there’s something wrong with the unit.

When it’s working correctly, an air conditioner will hum and whirr. If you hear other noises coming from it, that might be a bad sign. If the AC is making a cacophony of sounds like Michael Winslow’s “sound effects guy” character from the Police Academy movies, that’s definitely a bad sign. Here are some common noises you might hear from the AC and what to do about them.

Buzz and rattle

Buzzing or rattling from the AC unit can mean many different things. It may be something as simple as the air filter needing to be replaced, or it may just be a case of dirty cooling coils. Both of these can be easily taken care of on your own, and you won’t need to call a repair person to handle them. Rattling may also be caused by loose parts that just need to be tightened—again, this can probably be handled on your own.

But if you check for these things and none of them seem to fix the buzz or rattle, it’s time to call a professional to diagnose and fix the problem.

Thump and bang

A repetitive thump or bang coming from the exterior AC unit can be a sign that there is something wrong with the compressor in the unit, possibly a broken connecting rod or crankshaft. It may also be a loose fan blade, which is a significantly less expensive repair than replacing a compressor. Either way, hearing a noise like this will require you to shut off the unit and call a professional right away.

Hiss and whistle

If you hear a hiss or whistle, this may indicate leaking ductwork. It may also be a sign of refrigerant leaking out the system. Both of these problems are difficult or impossible to fix on your own, so consider a hiss or whistle sound as the AC unit telling you to call a professional for help.

Clang and grind

There’s a famous song that says there’s “nothing wrong with a little bump and grind”—but clang and grind is a whole different story. If you hear clanging and grinding in your AC system, it could be a sign of a problem with the fans. It may be the motors going out of balance or possibly a problem with the ball bearings in the fans. This will require a call to a professional to check out the problem.

If you hear your AC making sounds in Portage, MI, don’t wait too long before calling a professional HVAC technician to see if it can be repaired. Reach out to All Brands Heating & Cooling at the first sign of trouble to get it fixed right away—we’ve been fixing air conditioners and addressing a full range of HVAC issues for more than 30 years, and would be glad to help you!

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