The central air conditioner has yet to be invented that has a smart system to analyze malfunctions and provide the homeowner with an exact rundown of repairs that need to be done, and how soon to have them done. Until the invention of this type of “genius AC,” you will have to make do with more ordinary warning signs that your home’s air conditioner is in need of professional repairs. One type of warning: unusual noises from the cabinets.
Some Common Warning Sounds from an Air Conditioner
- Clicking: You might hear a repeated clicking sound when the air conditioner’s compressor attempts to come on. This is referred to as “hard-starting,” and could point to a number of issues—all of which require the work of HVAC technicians to repair. One of the probably reasons for the clicking sound is failing capacitors.
- Hissing: This sound often indicates that refrigerant gas is escaping from holes along the copper lines, or problems with the compressor’s valve. If the sound is sustained, you should call for repairs immediately, since loss of refrigerant can result in catastrophic damage to the compressor, one of the most expensive parts of an AC system to replace.
- Screeching: A mechanical screeching sounds often means that the bearings in one or more of the motors are wearing down. Have them replaced before the rest of the motor suffers damage.
- Clanking: Any number of loose mechanical parts can create this sound. One likely source is damage to the blower fan or the outdoor fan, causing the blades to strike the casing. Before the damage can spread, contact professionals to look into the problem.
Keep in mind that if your air conditioner is making a lot of racket in general—more than just a single identifiable noise—it often means that the system is past its prime. When you call a repair technician, ask if it’s more cost-effective to replace the aging system rather than to continue fixing it.
Russell’s Heating & Air Conditioning has served Palm Desert, CA and the Inland Empire and Desert Communities since 1980.