Generally, when any mechanical equipment makes strange noises, it is cause for concern.
For years, we have learned to associate funny noises with something being broken or malfunctioning. We listen to the way our cars sound, and we panic when our computers buzz a little louder than usual.
So, when that ‘something’ happens to be your beloved air-conditioner, which brings so much comfort and convenience to your home, it is worrisome.
Different sounds coming from your aircon can signal different types of problems. Some sounds even indicate issues that are a threat to your health and safety, so it is worth paying attention to.
Most of the time, you will need the help of a professional technician to solve the problem. But before you reach for the phone, here are some of the most common sounds that your AC can make, what they mean, and what to do about them.
Buzzing in your AC can indicate many problems, but the most common are loose parts, a dirty condenser coil or a refrigerant leak.
A loose part in your air conditioner can affect the functioning of all other parts because it causes additional strain on the rest to pick up the slack. The buzzing starts when wear and tear begins to take its toll on the other parts of the AC system.
In the case of leaking refrigerant, your aircon can freeze up from this. Buzzing noises are then emitted when the unit is frozen, but leaking refrigerant can also be a health hazard, so a buzzing noise should not be taken lightly.
AC refrigerant is a toxic substance that should not be inhaled. As such, it is important to make sure it does not make its way into your household’s airflow.
Issues that cause buzzing noises in your AC are not the kind that you could typically fix yourself. Instead you will need the help of a technician, who can make the necessary replacements and repairs after a thorough inspection of the exact cause.
This is probably one of the most unsettling sounds that can come from your air conditioning system.
It is almost always a problem with the fan belt, which connects the fan and the motor. When it is worn out or misaligned, the fan belt begins to make a squealing noise.
Most modern air-conditioners do not have fan belts anymore, so this is a sound that is more likely to occur in older units.
Your AC unit can continue to function while this sound persists, but it is best to have it repaired or replaced. Prolonged use with it in this state will eventually cause the fan belt to break which may affect other parts and result in an even more expensive repair job.
Consistent Clicking or Rattling Sound
Continuous clicking in your aircon is likely to be a small obstruction that has made its way into the path of the unit’s fan.
Imagine this as the same effect a card would have against bicycle spokes. The clicking occurs each time the fan encounters the obstruction.
To resolve this, turn off your AC and remove the obstruction from the fan.
If you cannot see anything or the obstruction is out of reach, you may need a technician to come in and open the unit to remove it. Attempting to do this yourself may expose you to dangerous and even deadly high voltages, hence it is best to get the licensed professionals.
Humming is not usually too big of an issue, but it can signify minor problems within your AC.
Slightly loose parts can cause rapid vibration, which produces the humming sound you hear. This sound may also be due to electrical faults, such as motor issues or loose wiring, which are a little more serious than just a loose part.
Humming can typically be addressed by your aircon technician, as the problem is not always so obvious. They will perform a thorough inspection to diagnose the root cause of the humming, and then proceed to fix it.
Since this sound can indicate electrical problems, it is generally not advisable to try and attend to the matter yourself.
How to Stop & Prevent All Aircon Noises
Any unusual sounds coming from your AC should be taken seriously, since modern systems are designed to run almost silently.
If you are hearing something new coming from your air-conditioner, you should turn it off and contact a technician immediately. Some problems are minor and are more an inconvenience than anything, but other issues, such as refrigerant leaks, are a hazard to you and your family.
Regular maintenance of your air conditioning system is a great way to prevent noises and unnecessary costly breakdowns. Through regular professional maintenance services, a technician can identify potential problems, and take the necessary actions toward preventing them.
If your AC is getting the cleaning, disinfecting, and other servicing that it needs, there is little reason for it to malfunction. If or when it does malfunction, the problem is then easier to find and fix in a timely manner, because the possibilities are narrowed down.
An AC maintenance plan is one of those things that we tend to ignore and brush aside as an extra expense, but it can be the difference between an aircon unit that is always churning out new noises, and an AC that runs smoothly and consistently, improving your indoor air quality as it goes along.
Not only that, but it can save you thousands in unnecessary repair costs.
As such a valuable part of your life, your aircon should be well taken care of so that it can take good care of you and your family in return.
Through those sweltering summers and those chilly winters, you never really realize how much the AC means to you until it starts clanking, rattling, buzzing, or humming!
If it does, take it as a reminder to put a little more effort into giving it the care it deserves, and it will reward you with cool summers and warm winters for years to come.