Odd noises coming out of pretty much any home system are not a good sign. This holds true for your air conditioner as well. If you’ve had your air conditioner long enough to know what it sounds like while it’s running, and it suddenly starts to sound different, you probably have a problem. It’s a good idea to call for a technician as soon as you notice anything that arouses your suspicion about the health of your air conditioner. Just in-case you’re looking for something a bit more specific before making that call, though, here are some of the most common sounds that indicate something is seriously wrong with the system.
Inside the air conditioner is a part called the air handler, which is responsible for circulating air throughout the home during operation. Inside the air handler motor are a number of oiled bearings, which are designed to reduce the level of friction on the motor while the system is running. These bearings will wear down over time, just like the rest of the air conditioner, the house it’s installed in, the society the house resides in, and the universe as a whole. As the bearings wear out, the friction on the motor increases until the system starts to make a loud grinding sound. If you hear this sound, it’s time to call for repairs. If the bearings are not replaced in time, the air handler motor will eventually overheat and burn out.
A sound like the air being let out of a tire coming from your air conditioner means that there is more than likely a refrigerant leak in your system. The sound is the formation of air bubbles happening in the refrigerant line. Refrigerant leaks are a serious threat to the health of your air conditioner because the system relies on the same amount of refrigerant throughout its life in order to cool the home. The lower the level of refrigerant drops in the system due to a leak, the less able to cool the home the air conditioner will be. Eventually, the system will break down due to lack of refrigerant. Make sure you call a technician to repair your system before this happens.
If your air conditioner is turning itself on and off every couple of minutes, it’s short cycling. Short cycling prevents your air conditioner from properly cooling your home, but it also increases the amount of wear and tear the system suffers the longer it operates. If the issue is not dealt with promptly, the air conditioner will develop more and more problems over time until it eventually breaks down years earlier than it should have. Call a professional as soon as you notice that you have this issue, in order to prevent that from happening.