Sounds And Smells Indicating AC Troubles

Air conditioners will show some signs of needing assistance when there are problems. You may feel a difference in the way the home is being cooled, or you might notice a spike in your cooling bills. The AC can also indicate it is having issues by having strange sounds or odors coming from it. This article will cover the various noises and smells the system can have and explain what they may mean. 

Sounds Indicating AC Problems

There is a wide range of sounds the air conditioner can make when it has repair issues. These sounds can range from soft hisses to loud squeals. 

Grinding Sounds: The bearings in the air handler motor will eventually wear out. When this happens, it can cause a loud grinding sound. 

Squealing Sounds: The belts in the system can get old. This is a common occurrence at the start of the season when you go to use the system after it sat all winter long. The old belt can produce a squealing sound. Also, worn bearings can sometimes make a similar sound. 

Rattling Sounds: There are many moving parts in the air conditioning system. When one of these parts comes loose, it can result in a rattling sound. The sound you hear is the parts jostling around as the system is running. 

Tapping Sounds: Sometimes, objects can become stuck in the blades of the fan. If this happens, it can make a quick tapping sound. While not a serious issue now, continuing to run the system without having the object removed can ruin the motor. 

Hissing Sounds: Hissing sounds indicate there's a leak. The leak can be allowing refrigerant to escape. Not only will this cause the system to eventually blow only warm air, but the refrigerant is also harmful to the environment. 

Smells Indicating AC Problems

Burning Smells: If there's a burning smell coming from the AC unit, then it indicates it is overheating. When you smell this, you need to turn the system off and leave it off until a technician fixes the unit. 

Musty Smell: A musty smell means there is mold somewhere in the unit. The air conditioner will blow out the musty smell until the mold is removed. Mold is unhealthy to breathe, so you'll want this taken care of as quickly as possible. 

Burning Plastic Smell: If there is the smell of burning plastic, then this indicates there may be electrical issues. Immediately turn the system off and have a technician come out for an emergency service call.

Contact a home AC repair technician to learn more.