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Althoff Home Services Blog

Sounds You Don’t Want Your AC Making

One day our AC units may be high-tech enough to alert you of problems early on. We already have smart thermostats that help you plan ahead and with programmable settings so it’s definitely possible. But until then, we have to identify signs that something is wrong with an AC unit. 

When you pay attention to warning sounds from your AC, you can stay ahead of AC repairs in Crystal Lake, IL. But what sounds are OK to hear and what sounds signal that something is wrong? While it’s normal for your AC unit to make some sounds, the six below definitely warrant a call to our team so you can avoid costly damage. 

Shrieking in your AC Unit

This sound is loud and unmistakable. Shrieking usually signals that something is wrong with your AC’s motor. It may be wearing down as a result of age or something that has gone wrong. While motor problems are not uncommon, they are very serious and need to be addressed right away. 

Whether from damage or wear and tear, your shrieking motor can cause more damage if you ignore warning signs. In fact, a shrieking AC motor can cause permanent damage that calls for a complete AC replacement instead of just a repair. 

Grinding in your AC Unit

This is another sound that indicates motor problems. Grinding can be caused by too much dust or a lack of lubrication. It’s natural to experience this during the life of your AC unit – especially if you don’t invest in regular maintenance. A grinding sound may also produce a bad smell as the motor overheats.

Rattling in your AC Unit

Rattling is usually less serious than grinding or shrieking. But that doesn’t mean that everything is OK with your AC unit. Rattling usually indicates that something is loose. The loose components are knocking around inside your AC unit as it runs, making a rattling sound and potentially causing damage to other parts. 

Loose ductwork, bent fan blades, or a loose cabinet door can also cause rattling. If you can pinpoint the location of the rattling, let our team know when you call to schedule an inspection. This can help us narrow down the source of the problem.

Bubbling in your AC Unit

Bubbling may also be described as hissing. Bubbling or hissing happens if you have a leak in your refrigerant line. Refrigerant is a liquid that aids in the cooling process. A leak in the area of the line where the refrigerant is liquid sounds more like bubbling. A leak in the area of the line where the refrigerant is gas sounds more like hissing. You may notice that your AC unit isn’t cooling as well and there may be ice buildup on the evaporator coil as a result of the leak. 

Clicking in your AC Unit

Your AC unit clicks when it turns on and off between cooling cycles. However, if you hear clicking sounds the entire time that your unit is running that’s a problem. Clicking may not be as loud as some of the other sounds on this list, but it is just as serious. Your compressor may be struggling to run, which can lead to hard starting and damage to your unit.

Clanging in your AC Unit

Clanging is similar to rattling in that the sounds both signal that something is loose. In the case of clanging, it’s more likely that a fan belt or air handler is loose or broken. These problems are more common in older air conditioners.

If you hear any of the above sounds and have concerns, turn the unit off right away to prevent further damage. Then give our team of experts a call to troubleshoot and fix your problem.

Contact Althoff Industries, Inc. today to schedule an appointment with our professionals. Chicago’s Choice Since 1961. Hand It Off to Althoff!

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