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“What’s That Sound?” Warning Noises from Your Air Conditioner

Air conditioning systems have a number of ways of alerting homeowners that something is going wrong. Paying attention to these warning signs and calling for repairs from professionals as soon as possible is the best way to prevent a larger malfunction that can cripple the AC—and leave a home stranded without cooling on a hot day!

The most common type of warning is odd noises coming from either the indoor or outdoor cabinet. Below are a few of the strange sounds an AC might make that will tell you it’s time to call for our repair specialists.


A sound like high pressure gas escaping from a break in a line is probably exactly that. Formaldehyde-based corrosion along the copper refrigerant lines in an AC are a common occurrence that will lead to loss of the vital refrigerant in the system. Dropping refrigerant levels will not only lower the AC’s cooling ability, it can cause damage to the compressor.


If you hear a clicking sound as the compressor starts up, you probably have a “hard-starting” compressor due to a failing capacitor. Hard-starting places extra pressure on the compressor, resulting in higher bills and a danger of larger malfunctions. Professionals will need to replace the capacitors.


This sound coming from either the inside or outside cabinet can indicate damage to the fans that has bent their blades. It’s also possible that other mechanical components have come lose.


Most likely this is coming from wearing-down bearings in the motors that run the fans or the compressor. If the bearings are not replaced soon, the motor will burn-out and require a more expensive repair.

Don’t attempt to diagnose any of these sounds and try a repair on your own. It takes an HVAC expert to find out exactly what is wrong and apply the correct repair.

Call Comfort Master Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. in Raleigh, NC for 24/7 air conditioning repair.

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