Troubleshooting Strange AC Noises and Other Common Equipment Problems

The weather tends to get quite hot during the Harrisburg, PA summer, which means that you’ll need your air conditioner running at peak performance. While taking great care of your AC unit will decrease the likelihood of serious mechanical problems, you can never guarantee that the appliance will remain healthy and efficient. Occasionally, air conditioning issues are going to arise, and it’s important as a homeowner that you know how to deal with them.

Because your AC unit is a complex appliance with numerous components, equipment problems can take many different forms. For example, an ailing air conditioner will often start to make unusual noises while it’s running, but those sounds can vary quite a bit, and each unique noise indicates a different problem. Here, we’ll take a close look at different noises your AC unit might make as well as other common warning signs that the system needs professional repairs.

Screeching Noise

One of the most common and disruptive noises you may hear from your AC unit is a high-pitched screeching, which typically indicates a problem with the system’s fan motor. Located inside the air conditioner’s outdoor condenser unit, the fan motor may make a screeching or squealing sound if it’s malfunctioning or damaged. This kind of noise is not something you want to try fixing by yourself. The wisest thing to do is to shut off your cooling system and give us a call at Ready & Able Plumbing, Heating & Air.

Banging Noise

If your air conditioner starts making a loud banging noise during operation, that’s usually a sign that something’s wrong with the unit’s compressor. The compressor’s role is to distribute refrigerant to different parts of the system, allowing the AC unit to remove excess heat from your living space. Sometimes, a separate component may become loose inside the compressor, which will cause a persistent banging noise.

The compressor is a complex part of the AC unit that can be challenging to take apart. This means that, in some cases, it will make more sense to replace the appliance than invest in repairs. When you schedule an appointment with one of our HVAC technicians, they’ll evaluate the situation and determine whether repairing or replacing the unit makes more sense for you.

Buzzing Noise

Typically, a buzzing sound coming from your air conditioner is an indicator of a significant mechanical problem and not something you should ignore. Most commonly, this kind of noise is the result of the fan blades in the outdoor condenser unit becoming loose or unstable. However, a buzzing AC unit can also be a symptom of several other equipment issues, including the following:

  • Malfunctioning outdoor fan motor
  • Dirty condenser coil
  • Loose components
  • Leaking refrigerant

If your air conditioner is making a buzzing sound, it’s best to shut down the appliance immediately and schedule an appointment with professional technicians.

Rattling Noise

Generally, a rattling noise coming from your AC unit doesn’t signify a major mechanical problem, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore it. In most cases, if it sounds like something is rattling around when your air conditioner is running, it means that one or more parts within the unit have come loose. The sound you’re hearing is likely the constant movement of that loose component. A rattling noise can also be simply the result of your air conditioner starting to deteriorate. If you notice this sound with an AC unit that’s more than 15 years old, it may be time to consider replacing the system.

When you hear a rattling from your air conditioner, it’s always prudent to go inspect the outdoor unit. Sometimes, the sound can be the result of twigs or random debris accumulating atop the condenser unit. If that’s the case, you may not need professional assistance to fix the problem.

Other Common Signs That You Need AC Repair

Unusual noises are probably the most noticeable sign that your air conditioner needs professional repairs. However, it’s far from the only symptom that you may see from your AC unit. When a cooling system is malfunctioning, there are various red flags that you may notice.

  • Inexplicably rising energy costs
  • Poor cooling performance
  • Increased humidity in your home
  • Leaking water
  • Worsening indoor air quality

One of the more obvious signs that something isn’t right with your air conditioner is poor overall cooling performance. If your AC unit is struggling to provide cool airflow or taking longer than usual to cool your dwelling, the appliance may need repairs or a tune-up. You may also notice that the air around your home is unusually humid or dusty. When a cooling unit needs professional repairs, it will often have trouble removing moisture and contaminants from the air.

Another common indicator that your air conditioner is ailing is an unexplained increase in your monthly cooling costs. If you notice that your electricity bills have significantly risen during the summer, it likely means that your AC unit isn’t running at peak efficiency. Professional maintenance may be enough to solve this issue, but the appliance may also need additional repairs. Finally, if you notice water or refrigerant leaking from any part of your HVAC system, you should shut off the unit immediately and schedule an appointment with our team at Ready & Able Plumbing, Heating & Air.

The Importance of Annual Air Conditioning Maintenance

Throughout your air conditioner’s lifespan, it will likely experience the occasional equipment issue. However, scheduling professional AC maintenance every year will help to keep your cooling unit healthy, efficient, and functional for many years. At Ready & Able Plumbing, Heating & Air, we offer comprehensive air conditioner maintenance, which is designed to keep your AC unit running like new for as long as possible. Ideally, you should schedule this service each year around the end of spring or the beginning of summer. Doing so will ensure that you remain comfortable and keep your cooling costs low throughout the scorching summer months.

Your Trusted Harrisburg Cooling Professionals

Since 1998, we at Ready & Able Plumbing, Heating & Air have been known for our quality services and consistent customer satisfaction. We offer a full spectrum of heating, cooling, and plumbing services for residents of the greater Harrisburg area. We also offer indoor air quality services, drain cleaning, duct cleaning, and water treatment services. Contact us at Ready & Able Plumbing, Heating & Air today to learn more or schedule an appointment!

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