Skip navigation


General Plumbing Blog

6 Warning Sounds From a Malfunctioning AC to Listen For


At some point in the future, we may have air conditioning systems with intricate diagnosis programs that allow them to immediately alert homeowners to malfunctions and their exact causes so they can receive the proper repairs as soon as possible. Since we aren’t at this technological point yet, homeowners need to understand the other signs ACs will send when they aren’t working right. One of the most important of these signs are unusual noises.

Since you run your air conditioning system for many hours throughout the year, you know what it sounds like under normal conditions. When some new or loud noise interrupts the gentle whir of the fans, the compressor, and the occasional drip of water, it may mean you need to call us for AC repair in Lake Worth, FL. Below we’ll go over six of the most common of these air conditioning warning sounds. 

1. Hissing and bubbling

These different sounds usually mean the same problem: refrigerant leaks. Refrigerant shift between a hot gas and cold liquid as it goes through the heat exchange process. Hissing is the sound of gaseous refrigerant escaping, bubbling the sound of liquid refrigerant escaping. Any refrigerant leaks put the entire air conditioning system in jeopardy if they’re not sealed and the lost refrigerant recharged, so don’t hesitate to call us right away.

2. Grinding or shrieking

You’ll hear these mechanical noises when there are problems with one or more of the motors in the air conditioner. Shrieking warns that the bearings in a motor are wearing down. If you have repairs done quickly, technicians can replace the bearings and keep the motor from burning out. Grinding often means a motor is already burning out and will need to be replaced. 

3. Clicking

You can expect to hear clicking on occasion from your AC: when the unit cycles down, components will make clicking noises as they cool, similar to noises you hear from a car engine. But continually clicking or loud clicking isn’t something you want to hear, as it often means electrical faults in the capacitors or the relay.

4. Rattling

This noise most often comes from a component that is coming loose or has come loose and is shaking around. Don’t try to open your air conditioner cabinet and root around looking for it! These loose parts are often inside the compressor or other areas you can’t reach. Our technicians can locate the issue and correct it. 

5. Whistling

If you hear a whistling sound, first check the air filter to see if it’s clogged up. Change it for a clean filter and this may clear up the problem. If the filter isn’t the source of the sound, you may have damaged ductwork that will require professionals to repair.

6. Clanging and banging

Sharp and loud metallic sounds like this are often from fan issues such as bent fan blades or a loose fan assembly. Turn your AC off immediately to prevent any further damage to the unit and call our technicians to investigate and repair the problem.

For Red Carpet Service Every Time, Contact General Plumbing and Air Conditioning in Lake Worth, FL.

Comments are closed.