Except for the muffled hush of moving air, any other air conditioner sounds should get your attention. Generally speaking, a properly functioning A/C is engineered to not disturb household peace and quiet, so when something sounds out of the ordinary, it’s noticeable. Here are some non-standard air conditioner sounds you may hear and what they might mean.
Squeals or Screeches
These noises usually indicate an issue with moving parts, limiting the most likely sources to the blower fan, fan belt or pulleys located in the indoor air handler. If fan belt tension is insufficient or the belt itself excessively stretched from wear, it may be slipping. While blower fan bearings can be lubricated by an A/C technician, a squealing or squeaking blower motor usually requires replacement.
Loud Rattles or Banging
If it occurs when the system is cycled on, it’s probably a loose blower motor, blown bearings or other related components. Usually, it’s a sign of something that’s only going to get worse, so turn the system off and get professional HVAC service ASAP.
Clicking Sounds From the Outdoor Components
If you hear a rapid succession of loud clicks coming from the outside half of the central A/C system before the unit starts, it’s most likely a worn contactor that switches high-voltage electricity to the compressor when the thermostat signals. Soon, you will hear only clicks and get no cooling. Call your local qualified heating/cooling contractor now.
You’ll know it when you hear it, and so will your neighbors. A failing compressor often makes a loud screeching sound if internal pressure reaches damaging levels. Internal safety sensors should instantly shut the system down. If they don’t, do it yourself quickly. Switch the thermostat to “off” and get professional HVAC help.
For more information on common air conditioner sounds you shouldn’t ignore, check out Aqua Plumbing & Air’s air conditioning solutions or call (941) 306-3715.
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