In the not-too-far-off future, it’s very likely that we’ll have air conditioner systems that can pretty much diagnose their own problems. Loose fan belt? You get an alert. Motor bearings that need lubrication? Alert, sent to your phone! Just like your car’s dashboard lets you know to check the engine, there will likely be some sort of alert system for AC systems.
That is unfortunately not the reality yet, however, and therefore you have to rely on your keen senses to know when something is amiss. For instance, maybe you feel warmer than you think you should, or you see that your energy bills have spiked without an explanation.
One of the most common signs that something is amiss with an air conditioning system is that it’s making loud or ominous noises. What kind of noises are we talking about? Well to be honest, anything that’s out of the ordinary of what you usually hear coming from the system and its components day-to-day is enough of a concern that you should give us a call. But there are several specific noises that you can keep an ear out for:
You know that “nails on a chalkboard” sound? Imagine it much louder, and lasting longer.
This kind of shrieking coming from inside your air conditioner is most likely the sign of motor problems, or at least the sign of a motor bearing that is wearing down. Having motor bearings wear down is not uncommon—in fact, this is a typical thing to see as a system ages, as a part of natural wear and tear.
But what happens is that those worn down motor bearings eventually cause too much friction for said motor, and can cause it to overheat so that it’s permanently damaged.
Grinding noises are also usually indicative of a motor problem. Grinding is usually caused by a motor that has accumulated too much dust, or has lost too much lubrication. Like the above issue, this is also a natural part of wear and tear—and it’s something that’s checked during routine maintenance—but it isn’t something you should ignore.
If this grinding sound is accompanied by an acrid odor from your vents—a sign that your motor has already started overheating—please don’t hesitate to turn off your air conditioner and give our number a call right away.
Rattling might be a sign of a very minor issue, such as a loose cabinet door. This is something you can probably fix on your own.
But if you’ve checked the cabinet’s exterior and that doesn’t seem to be the problem, then you’ll want our professionals to investigate further. We may find that you have loose components that are being knocked into the blower fan, and/or you can have damaged fan blades.
Another possibility is that the rattling is a sign that your air conditioner cabinet is coming loose from the slab, or you have ductwork damage and that is where the noise is coming from. Please don’t hesitate to give us a call even if you suspect it’s something minor. It’s better to be safe than sorry!