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Ace Plumbing and Heating Blog

These Unsettling Noises Mean You Need AC Repair

In future years your AC unit might be advanced enough to help identify problems early on before they spread. You might think of it like your car’s warning system that offers system lights when something goes wrong. Unfortunately, we don’t have that kind of technology for air conditioners quite yet. Until you have a smart AC unit, it’s your responsibility to pay attention to signs that your HVAC system may need repair.

Sometimes it’s difficult to tell whether AC sounds are normal or not. The best way to differentiate is to listen for new, surprising or unusual sounds. Of course, if you have any doubts it’s always better to be safe than sorry. If you think you need air conditioning repair in Calgary, our team can help. If you hear any or all of the five sounds outlined below, it’s a sign that something is wrong with your AC and needs to be addressed by an expert.

Shrieking or Screeching

This sound is usually metal-on-metal and can sound loud and high-pitched. This type of sound usually indicates that your air conditioner’s motor is malfunctioning. The motor can wear down as a result of normal wear and tear, but if your air conditioner isn’t particularly old then it’s more likely that something is going wrong. Either way, screeching and shrieking are very serious sounds that need to be addressed right away. 


This is another concerning sound that can originate in your HVAC motor. If the motor’s lubrication wears away, the result is a grinding sound as gears try to work together. Your motor parts lose lubrication if dust and dirt build up inside and dry out the parts. You can prevent dust and dirt from impacting lubrication by investing in regular air conditioner maintenance. Cleaning and lubricating your motor every year is a great way to address problems and prevent any damage.


Rattling is a little less serious than shrieking or grinding, but you still don’t want to ignore this sound forming from your AC. Rattling is a sign that a part is loose somewhere inside the unit. As the loose components rattle around inside your AC, they can spread damage to other components. 

Bubbling or Hissing

Bubbling and hissing can indicate a leak in your AC’s refrigerant line. A refrigerant leak makes a bubbling sound if it comes from an area of the line where the refrigerant is in its liquid form. A refrigerant leak makes a hissing sound if it comes from an area of the line where the refrigerant is in its gas form. Leaking refrigerant, whether it is gas or liquid, can make your energy use increase as your AC unit works harder to cool your home without the refrigerant needed to do so. 


Your AC unit does make a clicking sound at the beginning and end of each cooling cycle. However, if you hear clicking sounds that continue on as your unit is running, that can be a big problem. Clicking can be quiet, which makes it easy to miss or write off as not being a big problem. But clicking can indicate that your air compressor is repetitively turning on and off, which is also called short cycling. This pattern can cause damage to your unit. 

Contact Ace Plumbing and Heating today to schedule an appointment for your evaporative cooler. Fusing Technology with Comfort

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