Four Sounds You Don't Want To Hear From Your Air Conditioning Unit
If your home's air conditioning unit is working properly, you should rarely, if ever, hear any sounds coming through your vents, aside from a gentle click when the system turns on and off. If you do happen to hear any of the four sounds listed below, contact an air conditioning technician to have it looked at immediately, especially since it could be a sign of a bigger issue.
The sound of metal on metal is grating to the ears, but if you hear it coming from your air conditioning vents, it could also be a sign that one of your fan blades or another piece of metal has broken off and is scratching the inside of your unit. If left unattended, this scratching can cause irreparable harm to the inside of the unit, resulting in a full system shut down or even a replacement at some point. It's best to get it taken care of as soon as you can before having to spring for a brand new AC installation.
If the metal sound is more like bullets inside of a coffee can, then the issue might be less severe than the aforementioned scratching sound. Nevertheless, it still requires prompt attention, since a clanking sound can mean that a bolt or some other part has fallen off and is rattling around inside your air vents. It needs to be reattached so that whatever is loose doesn't come completely off and cause your air conditioning unit to stop working.
A high-pitched whining sound coming from your vents while your unit is on may mean that your fan belt is ready to snap in half. The thinner it gets, the higher pitch sound it makes, so it's best to replace it while you still can before it breaks in the middle of the night. It's usually a simple job, but since it requires opening up the entire AC unit to get to the motor, it's something that is best left up to a professional.
As opposed to an irregular clanking sound, the sound of several clicks in a steady rhythm means that your compressor is trying to turn on but won't fire. You can hear this with either your furnace or your air conditioning unit, depending on which one it's running. Either way, the energy source to your unit needs to be inspected and reattached. These are most common with electrical relays that are timing out before they have a chance to get the motor running, so if your home runs on gas, there might be other issues that your HVAC technician can talk to you about.
Contact an air conditioning repair service for more information.