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Learn the AC Noises You Should Be Aware of This Summer

AC Noises
Woman turning on air conditioner

It’s always unsettling when you start hearing air conditioner noises. Some noises can be indicative of a minor problem, while others may signal that there’s something more serious wrong. While you will probably want to call your HVAC consultant and schedule a service visit, it will be worthwhile to get a sense of what’s causing the problem so you’ll know whether you can use your air conditioner (or not) until the tech arrives.

Here are some common AC noises and what typically causes them.

  1. Clanking, rattling sounds indoors or outdoors. There are fans in the outdoor condenser and inside the cabinet in the interior side of the AC. If you hear a clanking, rattling sound, it could be that the fan is broken or loose. The outdoor fan is necessary to cool refrigerant; the indoor fan returns air to the condenser. Fan blades can be bent or otherwise damaged from wear.
  2. Hissing. This is typically a refrigerator leak. It may be that along with the hissing sound, the AC is no longer cooling the air. You will need to get the leak fixed in addition to recharging the refrigerant to keep from hearing these AC noises again.
  3. Screeching or squealing. A shrieking, squealing, or screeching noise may indicate an issue with the fan motor, either in the outdoor compressor or in the blower fan inside the interior side of the unit.
  4. Whooshing in the vent. In general, this is not a serious issue. It could be one of your vents is blocked and more air is whooshing out of one vent than another. Check to see if you can detect any blockage — say because of furniture in front of or on top of vents. If you can’t find the source, report the issue to your HVAC tech.
  5. Bangs, rattles, or clicks from the compressor. A few minor AC noises aren’t an issue when the compressor comes on. However, if the noises are loud enough that you can hear them indoors, you should call your HVAC tech, as compressor issues can be serious.

For more on AC noises, contact Arpi’s Industries of Calgary.