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Sounds That Are Okay to Hear From Your Air Conditioner

person-relaxing-with-air-conditionerAir conditioners do make noise, as anything with moving parts does. In some cases, sounds coming from your air conditioner can be a warning sign that there is a problem. It’s easy to be concerned with whether something is wrong, and there are many resources about what a problematic air conditioner noise may mean. But it may put your mind at ease to be clear about what sounds are good signs that your AC unit is functioning exactly as it should.

So which parts of the air conditioner make noise, and what should they sound like?

The Fan

The fan is the part that runs consistently (except, in some air conditioners, when it is set to the “eco” or “energy-saving” setting). It makes the same gentle whirring sound that any electric fan makes.

The Compressor

The compressor starts up with a hum to begin the cooling cycle and shuts off when the target temperature is reached. It is the heart of the air conditioner and causes the refrigerant to move through the coils. The hum is significantly louder than the fan, so you should be able to tell when it is actively in a cycle.

The Ducts

Some of the ductwork in an AC unit is made of metal. When it is heated and cooled, metal changes shape. As it adjusts, there may be some rattling. This should be temporary. Loose ductwork can cause a persistent rattle, and should be repaired, but brief rattling sounds are normal.

The Evaporator Coil

It’s not, strictly speaking, the coil itself that makes the noise in this case. Rather, this is where water may condense from the humidity in the air, so you may hear the drip of water. In a window unit, this will drip outside. In a central air system, it passes outside through a drain. Again, this sound should be periodic, not constant.

The End of the Cycle

As the machinery shuts down, there can be clicking sounds. This should only occur at the end of cycles and only briefly. Persistent clicking throughout cycles may indicate an electrical problem that needs to be addressed immediately for safety reasons, or simply a loose component that needs to be secured. Because of the risk of an electrical issue, a professional must assess and determine the cause of the sound. 

If you pay attention to the sounds your air conditioner makes during regular operation, you will become familiar with what to expect and have an easier time knowing whether a sound should cause concern. The main thing that should worry you is if you notice a sudden change in the noise you are hearing from your air conditioner. If you have any questions about what you’re hearing or think you might need air conditioning service in Lake Jackson, TX, don’t hesitate to reach out! Our qualified, experienced technicians are happy to provide whatever you need, whether it’s simply reassurance or scheduling repairs.

To schedule an appointment, or with any other concerns, contact Switzerland Air today.

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