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Noises Your AC Makes and What They Might Mean

June 08, 2021

If you need to ask, then you evidently already have your answer. In other words, no, your AC is not supposed to make all that racket.

Fortunately, if you've been wondering about those noises your AC makes and what they might mean, we can help. This free guide explains all the most common AC noises and what causes them.

More importantly, we'll explain what you need to do about them. There are a few that you can fix on your own, but most will require professional help. We'll also describe which of these situations call for emergency AC repair.

Please keep reading to learn more.

Banging, Clanking, or Tapping That Starts Slow and Gets Faster

Do you hear a banging, rattling, or tapping noise that starts slowly when the fan turns on and then speeds up? This usually means that the fan blade is hitting some other metal component as it spins.

This could happen because the fan or some other component is loose. It can also occur when there's a dent in the fan housing that protrudes into the blade's path.

This could damage your fan or wear out the motor faster. Also, it isn't enjoyable for you or your neighbors.

You may need AC preventive maintenance, which refers to a periodic inspection of your air conditioning unit to ensure that it continues working efficiently.

Besides that, it's not a problem that you should attempt to fix on your own. Call a JD's Plumbing & Air Conditioning to take a look at it. 

Flapping

Here's another AC noise that starts slow and then speeds up. Only it sounds like a soft flapping or rattling sound rather than a loud banging. This is caused when debris like trash, leaves, or grass contact the blade as it spins.

Fortunately, you might be able to fix this problem yourself. First, make sure the system has been shut off so that the fan won't start while you're working on it.

Next, look for the debris around and in your AC and pull it out manually if you can. If you can't reach it, try using a long stick or pole. Put a loop of duct tape on one end of the pole to grab onto the debris and pull it out. Also, trim shrubs, remove weeds, and rake away the debris that has piled up by or near your outdoor AC unit.

If you still can't reach or see the debris, call for professional AC repair. Attempting to dismantle the system yourself might do more harm than good.

Download Guide: How Much Does It Cost to Install a Ductless AC in Denver?
 

AC outside Denver Home with plant

Free Guide: Swamp Cooler Vs Air Conditioner Comparison Guide
 

Plants Growing Into the Unit

In the event that grass, vines, or other plants are growing into the unit, trim or uproot them. Then, don't just yank the plants out, or they can damage the unit on their way out.

Slowly and gently pull the plants out of the unit from their point of entry. Afterward, keep any plants that are growing nearby under control.

Rattling

Rattling that isn't caused by debris could mean that your air conditioner is about to die. If the rattling unit is more than ten years old, speak with a professional about Denver AC installation.

Metal Grinding

If you hear a noise like metal grinding, it probably means two metal components are grinding into each other. And that causes heat from friction plus sparks, both of which can start a fire. Shut off your system if you hear metal grinding and call for emergency AC repair.

Squealing Or Screeching

Squealing/screeching noises from the outside unit are probably from one or more faulty components in the blower motor. Or, it may simply need lubrication, which you can fix by yourself. If that doesn't help, you probably need the faulty component tightened, repaired, or replaced by professionals.

Clicking

Most AC systems make one soft click each time they turn on or off. But excessive or very loud clicking is a problem.

Clicking From the Outside Unit

Clicking from the outside unit is either a loose component or a dying capacitor. It would be better if you had a professional to fix it.

Clicking From the Inside Unit

Clicking that you may hear inside your home is probably an electrical/wiring problem. Faulty wiring is a very dangerous fire hazard, so shut your HVAC system down and call an emergency HVAC repair service.

A Loud Pop

A loud bang or pop once in a while is the sound of your ducts reacting to a change in temperature. This means that they're either poorly insulated or installed incorrectly. 

You will need a professional to fix this issue. In the meantime, it may comfort you to know that this issue isn't dangerous at all. It isn't very pleasant.

Read: How to Reduce Wildfire Smoke in Denver With Your HVAC System
 

JD's Plumbing Heating & Air Conditioning Denver, CO

6 Signs You Need a New Air Conditioner
 

Whistling 

A whistling or even a loud screaming noise is usually from a leaky air duct or a clogged air filter. You can try changing your air filter and having your ducts checked.

However, if you also notice that the air from the AC isn't cold, shut it off and call for emergency AC repair.  It might mean that you have a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant leaks are toxic and could even be deadly.  

Buzzing

Any buzzing sound beyond the usual hum of your AC system is a bad sign. Possible causes include:

  • Your condenser coil is worn out
  • Your blower motor has a loose component
  • Your air filter needs to be changed
  • There is debris contacting the fan blade
  • The compressor continues running
  • Your blower motor has a loose component
  • The copper lines are contacting some metal component
  • You have a refrigerant leak
  • Signs of Hail Damage

You can change the air filter and remove debris from the fan by yourself. But if that doesn't solve the problem, call a professional for Denver AC repairs.

Free Download: Definitive Guide to Buying an Air Conditioner
 

Any Audible Change

Any unusual AC noise that wasn't happening previously should be addressed. If your issue is anything other than those we described above, call a Denver air conditioner technician. 

Please Share This Information About Noises Your AC Makes and What They Might Mean

We hope this guide has helped you understand the noises your AC makes and what they might mean. If you know anyone else who's wondering what to do about a noisy AC, please share this guide with them.

Lastly, don't put up with these or any other AC problems anymore. Contact JD's Plumbing, Heating & AC for Denver air conditioner installation or repair.

Trust the Denver Plumbing Experts, Schedule Service Today!

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