It may be fairly easy to understand why, but summer is the most likely season for air conditioners to develop problems. Sure, we may have a spring or fall heat wave that requires AC use for a week or two, but the time of the year that our cooling systems get the most use is definitely summer, and therefore it’s more likely for various parts to begin breaking down then.
It’s vital that you have your air conditioner checked out by a professional if you notice any signs of disrepair, and preventing these issues is possible with routine maintenance. If you haven’t scheduled your tune-up yet this year, now is the time!
In the meantime, it’s always a good idea to know what kind of noises indicate a problem with your air conditioner, and what subsequent repair needs you may be facing as a result.
If your cooling system is making a grinding sound during operations, it’s likely due to an issue with the air handler. The motor within the air handler contains a number of oiled bearings that help keep friction at a minimum during system operation.
These bearings eventually wear down over time, causing the friction on the air handler motor to slowly increase. Once the friction gets high enough, the air handler motor starts making what sounds like a grinding noise. If you do hear this sound, be sure to call for repairs as soon as possible. The bearings will need to be replaced before the air handler motor overheats and burns out.
No, there’s probably not a snake in your air conditioner. When we say hissing, we’re talking about a sound that resembles air being let out of a tire. This is most often caused by air bubbles in the refrigerant line… meaning you have a refrigerant leak.
The lower the refrigerant level (called its charge) is in the air conditioner, the lower the AC system’s output capacity will drop as a result. Eventually, when the refrigerant level gets too low, the air conditioner will be forced to shut down.
Be sure to call for repairs as soon as you notice this hissing sound, or if you notice fluid dripping from your system anywhere.
If your air conditioner is turning itself on and off every couple of minutes rather than the longer cycles you’re used to, this is called short-cycling. It can be caused by a few different things, such as electrical problems or compressor malfunctions. No matter what the cause is, however, the threat to your air conditioner is a concern.
Short-cycling cuts down on a system’s ability to cool your home, and accelerates the rate at which the AC wears down. Prolonged short-cycling will make your system more prone to breaking down, and will shorten its lifespan by a number of years. For this reason, it’s important that you call for repairs as soon as you notice your system short-cycling!