Is a Noisy Air Conditioner Ruining the Peace and Quiet of Your Home?

According to the National Weather Service, the summer of 2018 featured no less than 128 days of 100 degrees or more. That’s over four months of serious Arizona heat! The long-range forecast in 2019 is for more record-setting triple digit temperatures. As modern inventions go, it’s hard to imagine a more useful, life-saving appliance in your home. Air conditioners make summer in Arizona livable. However, for all their ingenious heat transferring qualities, air conditioners are not always the quietest appliance in your home.

What Is That Noise?

Do you experience an ear-splitting high-pitched whine every time your air conditioner starts up? Are there serious thumps and ka-chunks when the compressor kicks in? This might be your air conditioner’s way of telling you, “I’m not going to be ignored. It’s time for my spring AC service call.”

Here’s a list of common AC noises and what they might be indicating as far as your air conditioner is concerned:

That Annoying, High-Pitched Squeal

A high-pitched whine or squeal is a sound often associated with slipping belts or an issue with the bearings. Either way the noise is most unpleasant and indicates service is needed.

Thump, Ka-chunk or Loud Rattling During Start-up

There is some argument as to whether the sound is more of a Ka-chunk or a thump. We’ll let the sound effects experts debate that point. Unfortunately, these noises are frequently caused by loose mounts, but more often than not, can indicate a problem with the compressor. This is not a sound you want to ignore.

Tick-tick or Clicking Sounds

A rhythmic tick-tick or clicking sound is often caused by faulty fan blades. Sometimes, it can be as simple as a branch or a twig lodged in the fan. An obvious question is, “How can something hit the fan blade when it’s in an enclosed area?” Occasionally, high winds from thunderstorms blow branches and debris into your air conditioner. Clicking sounds can also be caused by defective relay switches.

A Loud Buzz

Air conditioners rely on electric motors to make the fans go, power the compressor, move liquids through the pumps and more. As with any electrical device or motor, if you hear a loud buzz or notice an incessant humming coming from your air conditioning unit, you’ll want to turn it off right away. If you hear crackling or detect a burning smell, you’ll want to act immediately. Turn off the AC unit at the circuit breaker and call for service. Electrical problems are responsible for over 80 percent of AC issues.

Wind Whistling Sound Near Vents Inside the House

If you hear wind whistling, whooshing or the faint sound of a distant train coming from your vents, you can rest assured, it is not an errant Amtrak whistle or a ghost train calling to you from the other side, but rather a pretty decent hint that there’s a loss of pressure or an opening somewhere in your duct work.

The Only Sounds You Want to Hear – The Sounds of Silence

“And the people bowed and prayed, to the “freon” God they made…” so wrote Paul Simon in his famous 60’s hit, The Sounds of Silence. When your air conditioner is working properly, you’ll hear a little whoosh from the fans or no noise at all. Silence is the sound of a healthy air conditioner. For most people, out of sight – and out of earshot – is most ideal. Give us a call and we’ll be happy to help your air conditioner pass the ear test. Call us today.