Sounds You Don’t Want Your Air Conditioner to Make

Monday, April 25th, 2022

outside-ac-unitWhen springtime comes, we look forward to warmer temperatures and more time spent outside enjoying recreational activities. But as the temperatures get higher and higher, we also need a nice, comfortable home to come back to, right? Well, if your air conditioner isn’t operating as it should, that might not be what you get.

So what if your air conditioner is running but it’s making some funny noises as it does so? Is it cause for concern?

If these noises are outside of the normal day-to-day operational sounds that you hear it make, then yes, it is cause for concern. Read on as we uncover some odd sounds you might hear come from your air conditioner, what they might mean, and when to call a pro.


We’re referring to a pretty loud, mechanical shrieking noise. This is most commonly an indication of a motor issue, or at least it’s a sign of a motor bearing that is becoming worn down. The latter is a normal part of wear and tear, but it has to be remedied right away!

The reason for this is that worn-down motor bearings can create too much friction on the motor, permanently damaging it. Our technicians will quickly and accurately replace the bearings in order to save your motor and prevent further subsequent damage.


A grinding noise is also potentially a sign of a motor problem. It’s usually caused by a motor that has accumulated too much dust or has lost too much lubrication. Like the above-mentioned problem, it’s a normal part of wear and tear and will be checked during maintenance, but it’s still not something you want to ignore.

Neglecting a problem like this can lead to a much more serious problem with your air conditioner.


The first thing we would ask if you called us about a rattling noise is, “is it possible it’s the cabinet door on your indoor unit?” This can typically be fixed with just a couple of twists of a screwdriver. However, assuming you’ve already checked this and that is, in fact, not the problem, it could be more serious.

You could, for instance, be listening to a loose component within your system or you could be listening to broken and damaged ductwork that’s rattling every time air goes through it.

Hissing or Bubbling

Depending on where exactly the problem is located, you might hear either hissing or a bubbling noise if you have a refrigerant leak.

There’s a common misconception that refrigerant is something that “runs out” as gasoline does for a car. On the contrary, your air conditioner is actually supplied with enough refrigerant upon manufacturing, and if the system is losing any, it definitely means there is a leak.

Unfortunately, a refrigerant leak can lead to a number of operational problems for your air conditioner, including damaging your compressor. As the “heart” of your air conditioner, the compressor is also the most expensive part of the system, so if it gets damaged, it could spell an early demise for your entire system.

For professional AC repair in Joliet, IL, contact Comfort First Heating and Cooling, Inc. 

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