Did you know the end of summer is the most likely time for your air conditioner to develop a problem? After all, it’s placed under a lot more stress than at other times of the year, and the additional wear and tear makes it more likely for various parts to break down.
It’s important that you get your air conditioner checked out by a professional if you notice any signs that it’s malfunctioning in some way. Let’s take a look at one of the more common signs that your AC system is malfunctioning—strange noises.
If your AC system is making a grinding noise while in operation, it’s likely due to an issue with the air handler. The air handler’s motor contains a number of oiled bearings to help keep friction as low as possible while your system is operating.
These bearings wear down over time, which causes the friction on the air handler motor to increase. Once this friction gets high enough, the air handler motor will begin to make a grinding sound. If you hear this, you should call for repairs as soon as possible. The bearings will need to be replaced soon, before the air handler motor overheats and burns out.
If your AC system is making a sound that resembles are being let out of a tire, it’s likely due to air bubbles in the refrigerant line—in other words, you have a refrigerant leak. The lower the refrigerant level is in your air conditioner due to a lea, the lower your cooling system’s output capacity will drop as a result.
Eventually, refrigerant levels can drop so low that your air conditioner will be forced to shut down, and you may have irreversible damage done to your compressor. Therefore, it’s important that you call for repairs as soon as you notice this sound, or if you notice fluid coming from any part of your air conditioner.
If your air conditioner turns itself on and off every couple of minutes, it’s going through something called short-cycling. Short-cycling can be caused by any number of things, including electrical issues and compressor malfunctions. Regardless of the cause, however, what’s more important is the threat it poses to your air conditioner.
The system cuts down on the air conditioner’s ability to cool the home, but it also accelerates the rate in which the system wears out. Prolonged short-cycling will eventually make your system prone to breaking down, and will also shorten the system’s lifespan by a number of years. It’s best that you call for repairs as soon as you notice your system short-cycling.
The noises we described above are just a few of the most common ones associated with air conditioner problems. A good rule of thumb to follow is that if you hear anything outside of the normal sounds you hear when your system is running, it’s a good idea to call in a pro to at least inspect the situation.