What's that noise coming from my AC?

What's that noise coming from my AC?

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Today’s air conditioning systems are designed to cool quietly and efficiently to keep El Dorado Hills CA homeowners comfortable during the heat of summer. However, even well-maintained systems can develop problems—especially when your AC runs 24/7 right up to October! Like any appliance, central air systems usually present noisy symptoms before breaking down. The key is to know which noises demand quick attention and AC repair.

Don’t Ignore These 6 Air Conditioning Noises

Here’s a brief list of six common AC noises that spell trouble — and what you need to do when you hear them:

Squealing or screeching

These loud squeals can come from two places in your AC unit: the compressor or the blower fan motor. If the noise is continuous while the HVAC is operating, the likely source is the blower fan motor. If the screeching only happens when the AC is starting up, your compressor may be the problem. Unless it’s under warranty, a malfunctioning compressor will likely need to be replaced with a new AC unit.  In either case, a call to your AC tech will be in order.

Hissing, whooshing or bubbling

If you hear these sounds coming from your outside AC unit, there may be a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant is what cools the air before it enters your house, so fixing a refrigerant leak is definitely in order to keep you home cool. Your professional California Energy Systems AC technician can find and repair a refrigerant leak, as well as check for low refrigerant levels.

Loud banging, rattling, or thumping

Your central system has many components that may come loose during operation and start to bang around. As this loud banging increases, these loose parts can actually damage other components. A banging or thumping that gets louder over time means it’s time to shut the system down and contact your California Energy Services AC repair technician.

Buzzing or humming

Buzzing or humming sounds may indicate an electrical problem in one of the components of your air conditioning unit, often causing the AC circuit breaker to trip. These issues are best tackled by an experienced HVAC technician and may come from several sources, including the AC condenser fan, relay switches, or loose wires inside the condenser unit. Sometimes your air conditioning circuit breaker will trip due to a dirty air filter or debris piling up around the unit. Your factory-trained AC serviceperson will be able to pinpoint the cause and recommend a solution.

Repeated clicking sounds

Your central AC usually makes a single clicking sound when starting up. When repetitive clicking sounds occur, that may indicate a malfunction.  An electrical switch or relay may not be working properly in the outside unit and will need to be replaced. If you hear repeated clicks inside, there may be a problem with your thermostat.

“Thwapping” sound

The best way to describe this is the sound is what a playing card makes when held against a spinning bicycle wheel. This sounds worse than it is: it usually means that a leaf, twig or other debris is caught in the fan and is hitting something inside as the blades rotate. Usually a quick cleaning will solve this noise problem. Your AC technician can remove the debris and run a thorough check on other components.

Count on Our Professional AC Team

It’s important to understand the normal and not-so-normal sounds your AC central system makes. When there’s a problem, the AC pros at California Energy Services can inspect your HVAC system, diagnose the problem and provide AC repair, if necessary. If your air conditioning has reached the end of its functional life—usually 12-15 years—your experienced technician will recommend new, energy efficient AC replacement options. Your new AC installation will be scheduled promptly, and your home will be cool and comfortable for years to come.

Is your AC making strange noises? Call the California Energy Services air conditioning pros to keep your home cool and quiet. Get in touch, or call us at 916-737-1107.