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RKM Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

Sounds You Don’t Want to Hear Come From Your AC


Nothing that has a motor or fan is completely silent when it runs. Your HVAC system is no exception to this rule. As your HVAC system turns on to heat or cool your home, you may hear it click a few times. You may hear the gentle hum of the air compressor and air swooshing as it blows through your vents. But what sounds are bad to hear from your air conditioner? 

Well, anything that is very loud or surprising is definitely a red flag. But there are other sounds that can indicate a problem, too. If you hear something unusual from your AC and think you need air conditioning repair in Irvine, CA, give our team a call. In the meantime, learn more about HVAC sounds that can mean damage to your system.


Clanging can be loud and difficult to ignore. It may sound like a large part is loose – and probably because it is! Clanging is most often a loose fan belt or air handler that is causing problems. These problems are more common in older units than in newer ones. 

Flowing Water

It’s normal to hear water once in a while n your AC unit. When the air is cooled, heat evaporates and turns into condensation and water. Your unit then channels that water outside to get it away from your system. But does it ever sound like water is running without ceasing? That’s a sign that something may be wrong with the refrigerant, which can lead to a complete system breakdown when left unaddressed. 

Shrieking or Screaming

This sound is loud and may shock or surprise you when you hear it. Shrieking usually signals that your HVAC motor is having problems. The motor may be wearing down as a result of normal wear and tear or because of something that is going wrong. Motor problems are not uncommon as your unit gets older, but hearing shrieking is very serious and needs to be addressed right away. 


Bubbling is one of the more dangerous sounds to hear because it’s a sign that you have a leak in your refrigerant line. More specifically, you have a leak in the part of the line where the refrigerant is in its liquid form. You’ll hear hissing if the refrigerant is in gas form in another part of the line. Either way, losing refrigerant means losing the ability to cool. And since refrigerant is a chemical, leaks can pose additional dangers, too. 


This is another sound that is common for your HVAC motor. If the motor doesn’t have enough lubrication, the result is a grinding sound. Sometimes a lack of lubrication isn’t the problem though. Grinding also happens if dust and dirt build up in the motor. You can prevent grinding by investing in regular air conditioner maintenance. Cleaning and lubricating your motor annually can resolve any problems and prevent additional damage.

Contact RKM Heating and Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment with us. Done Right, Priced Right.

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