Functional air conditioning is an irreplaceable part of modern life. From homes to workplaces and warehouses, our AC provides vital support across all seasons. Therefore, it can be so alarming when strange noises suddenly arise.
Air con noises come in various forms, each indicating their own unique issues and problems. Issues also vary in severity and style. Some AC systems continue to run, while others struggle. So, what are the common noises and what exactly do they mean? Let’s explore 6 right now.
Before we go any further, it is important to note that a lot of air conditioning units emit a soft humming sound during operation. However, lingering, or louder than normal humming noises are our key point of focus here.
A majority of unusual humming sounds indicate problems with the fan motor. Loud noises are generated form the fan motor area when it is partially blocked by dirt, debris or dust. A blocked fan can be a serious issue and should be reviewed by an HVAC professional as soon as possible.
Buzzing noises are not only problematic, but also seriously irritating. When this occurs, it is most likely an indicator of an electrical fault within your air conditioning unit or network. For example, buzzing can be a sign of loose or damaged wiring.
While your AC system may continue to run, the longer you ignore the buzzing sound, the greater the health and safety risk. Remember, electrical faults are never to be taken lightly. Once the buzzing arises, make sure that you contact a qualified team of technicians as soon as possible.
In terms of any clicking or popping sounds, the most important factor to look out for is the frequency – this is vital because a single clicking sound is likely no more than the normal communication between the unit and the thermostat.
If these noises are recurring, however, the situation is entirely different. Constant clicking or popping typically signals an issue between the unit and the thermostat, be it dirty filters, a defective relay or the wrong level of pressure. To ensure that your unit emits the correct temperature, simply arrange a professional inspection.
Our next noise of concern is fairly common. Rattling air con occurs everywhere from homes to workplaces. Above all, rattling is an unsettling and alarming sound that no AC owner wants to experience. So, what is the underlying cause?
One of the most likely scenarios is that debris and loose parts have broken off inside the AC system or network. Another relates to faulty/damaged fan blades. Either way, both of these situations are serious. When left unattended, rattling noises can quickly worsen and lead to costly repairs. Further, you may even require a full system replacement.
When air conditioning units produce a hissing sound, there are two likely scenarios at play. In most cases, hissing either indicates a refrigerant leak or an air leak somewhere in the network. This is of vital importance if you own a system that runs of gas – as we know gas leaks are hazardous. Of course, refrigerant gases are present in all split systems and ducted air conditioners. These gases treat the air passing through the system to provide your desired level of heating and cooling.
Alongside hissing, another key factor to look out for involves the accuracy of your thermostat and the air emitted. If the temperature is colder or warmer than it should be, chances are a gas leak has occurred.
Our final noise of focus can be truly unsettling. Ear piercing, high-pitched squealing is never pleasant. In the case of your air conditioning, squealing sounds represent more than a simple inconvenience. The most common cause is that your motor belt has slipped and requires readjustment.
It is important to note that squealing is almost exclusive to older AC systems. This is primarily because modern technology no longer utilises a motor belt system. However, in rare instances, newer models will still emit a squealing noise if the compressor fails.
Occasional vs Persistent Noises
Any persistent noises should be addressed as soon as possible by a qualified air conditioning professional. This applies to all types of air con, whether you own a split system, ducted network, reverse cycle or an evaporative cooler. Ignoring the problem will only result in greater long term costs or potential safe and healthy hazards.
The Value of Preventative Maintenance
While strange noises are never ideal, it is important to make a distinction between those that appear once and those that are recurring. Of course, this also depends upon the type of sound emitted, of which you can refer to our breakdown above and determine correct way to proceed.
As with any appliance or device, addressing issues early is always the best course of action. Remember, underlying problems may exist long before the strange noises begin. Arranging preventative maintenance, therefore, is an excellent way to keep your AC unit running to its optimum level.
Countless heating and cooling companies offer this service. In fact, it is often a pillar of their company’s customer service model. A periodic check-up will detect any issues and act upon them before they get out of hand. The interval between each service may vary from provider to provider, so remember to double check before a schedule is set in stone.
Contacting an HVAC Specialist
Regardless of the noise, recurring and unusual sounds are best handled by a qualified heating and cooling technician. From here, HVAC professional will carefully assess your unit/network and determine the proper course of action moving forward. This could be anything from minor tweaks and on-the-spot repairs to full scale maintenance and in some cases, system replacement.
The other major factor at play here is your safety and well-being. Even seemingly innocuous noises may be an indication of larger issues that result in serious property damage. In addition, any concerns related to efficiency and power use also directly affect your bottom line, whether you’re a home or business owner.