Because the heat in Texas hangs around for long stretches, local air conditioning systems put in much more work than they’re accustomed to. It pays to be vigilant of the AC in your home during the end of summer because this is when it’s at the highest risk of a malfunction. All that work stress through summer can catch up to it rapidly, and you want to be prepared to make a call to have the AC fixed before you lose out on cooling.
One of the ways an air conditioner can send out an alert that something isn’t right is through sound. Weird noises from an AC that you aren’t accustomed to hearing often mean it needs attention from HVAC professionals. Below are a few of these warning sounds.
This is a noise you’ll hear coming from the outdoor cabinet (the condenser) when the air conditioner turns on for a cooling cycle. This generally noisy operation indicates that the system is hard starting, i.e. having trouble overcoming the initial resistance of starting the compressor motor. It’s similar to when the engine in a vehicle struggled to turn over. Because an AC uses 4 to 8 times the amount of electricity to start running the motor than to keep it running, hard starting is a massive power waste. It’s also bad for the compressor and may lead to it burning out. Technicians can install a hard-start kit to overcome this problem.
No, there isn’t a snake inside your air conditioning system. What you’re likely hearing is refrigerant gas escaping through a leak in the copper refrigerant lines. These leaks often occur in ACs that are more than five years old because of chemical corrosion along the copper surfaces. Loss of refrigerant is a major problem for an AC that will trigger a series of worse and worse problems and reach a grand crescendo in a burnt-out compressor—so move fast to have this investigated and fixed.
This is another noise you may hear when the AC is starting a cooling cycle. It’s coming from the capacitors, which are electrical components that send voltage to the motors to start them and keep them running. Capacitors fail eventually, and when they do they make this clicking sound. Never try to replace a capacitor on your own, since it poses a high voltage shock risk. Leave it to the AC pros.
This indicates a loose part somewhere, often inside the air handler. The fan blade may be bent, or a part is caught inside the blower. Whatever the cause, something is striking something it shouldn’t, and it needs to be repaired.
This is a motor in the air conditioner calling for help. The shrieking noise is motor bearings that are wearing down. If caught in time, the bearings can be replaced to prevent damage to the motor. Grinding often means a motor is burning out (you may also notice an acrid smell). A professional will probably need to put in a new motor.
You can schedule any air conditioning repair in New Braunfels, TX with our experts. We’re ready to come to your assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.