Summertime is the most likely time for air conditioners to develop problems. While we have heat waves and variable weather throughout the year, AC systems are placed under considerably more stress in the summer, and the added wear and tear makes it more likely for various components to break down.
It’s vital that you have your cooling system checked out by an experienced professional if you notice any signs of malfunction. Read on as we uncover one of the more common signs that your AC is in disrepair—loud or unfamiliar noises coming from the system.
If you hear your air conditioner making a grinding sound while it’s running, it’s likely because there’s a problem with the air handler. The motor within the air handler has a number of oiled bearings to help keep friction as low as possible during system operation.
Over time, these bearings wear down, which causes friction on the air handler motor to slowly increase. Eventually, the friction will get bad enough that the air handler will start making a grinding sound. If you hear this, you should call for repairs right away. While this is a natural part of AC wear and tear, ignoring it and letting it go on could lead to a domino effect and negatively impact other components of your cooling system, including overheating the motor until it burns out.
Is your air conditioner making a noise that resembles the sound of air being let out of a tire? This could very well be air bubbles in the refrigerant line, which means you have a leak.
There’s a common misconception amongst homeowners about refrigerant leaks—that refrigerant is something that naturally depletes over time, and you’ll need an occasional refill, or what we call in the industry a recharge. This shouldn’t be the case.
Your air conditioner is supplied with enough refrigerant upon installation to ideally last its entire lifespan. So if it’s losing refrigerant, it definitely means there is a leak, and one of the best ways for a homeowner to detect this is by listening for a hissing noise. Refrigerant leaks lead to a number of potential problems for your air conditioner, so it’s a problem you want to manage right away.
Have you noticed your air conditioner turns itself on and off every couple of minutes, instead of going through longer, more regular cycles? This process is called short-cycling and is a problem that can be caused by a number of factors, including electrical issues or compressor malfunctions. Regardless of the cause, what’s more, important is the threat it creates for your cooling system.
Short-cycling cuts down on the air conditioner’s ability to cool the home, and accelerates the rate at which your system will wear down. Prolonged short-cycling will make the system more prone to breaking down, and shorten its lifespan by a number of years. For this reason, you should give the pros a call as soon as you discover this problem!