It’s that time of year! You know, the time where homeowners all throughout the country are shutting their air conditioner off for the season in favor of their heating system.
Well, all except for us. Air conditioning in Lake City, FL is pretty much a year-round need. So if you’re starting to hear strange noises coming from your cooling system, it can sure seem concerning. How bad the problem is that’s causing those noises depends on the particular sound you are hearing. But don’t worry, your air conditioner isn’t haunted—probably.
Hissing or Gurgling
This sound, also described as bubbling due to its similarity to the noise that bubbles of soda being sucked through a straw, is an indication that there are air bubbles in your AC system where they shouldn’t be. This is probably occurring in the refrigerant line, which means you have a leak.
Refrigerant leaks present a problem because they deprive the system of the fluid needed to actually cool your living space. As the refrigerant level in the system drops, so too does its ability to do its job. Eventually, the refrigerant level drops low enough that your AC system won’t be able to sustain functionality, and will shut down. Make sure you call for repairs ASAP when you hear this noise, especially if you also see fluid leaking from your system.
Your air conditioner’s air handler is the component tasked with circulating air throughout your home while the system is running. This air handler has a motor that is put under a lot of stress while your AC is working. To help this motor cope, it is outfitted with a number of oiled bearings which keep the motor running smoothly. But these bearings won’t last forever!
Eventually, they’ll wear down and the friction on the air handler motor will increase. This can cause the motor to make a grinding noise while the system is in operation. If you hear this sound, you should call for repairs right away. The bearings need to be replaced before your air conditioner overheats and burns out as a result.
Short-cycling is when your air conditioner turns itself on and off every few minutes, rather than completing a full cooling cycle. It’s most commonly the result of an electrical issue within the system. Short cycling prevents the air conditioner from cooling properly, and also accelerates the rate at which your air conditioner as a whole wears down.
If short-cycling is allowed to continue for too long, the air conditioner becomes more and more likely to break down in other ways. Short-cycling can even shorten the lifespan of your system by a number of years.
If your air conditioner is short-cycling or if you hear any other scary noises coming from your cooling system—like the sounds we mentioned above—then the best thing you can do is to call in an experienced professional to inspect. It might be a minor problem, but it’s better to have a peace of mind than to risk your AC breaking down when you need it the most!