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Serving Hickory and the Catawba Valley Area Since 1990


Ace Hardware Home Services Blog

Why Is Your AC Making That Noise?

Anytime you hear an unusual sound in your house, you pause and listen carefully to see if you can figure out where it’s coming from. If you notice a sound coming from your air conditioner, that can be a red flag of something major being wrong.

The good news is, getting problems addressed when you first notice them is much cheaper and easier than letting problems get worse and putting off maintenance or repairs. If you do think you need air conditioner repair in Hickory, give our team a call. In the meantime, you can keep reading to learn more about unusual air conditioner sounds and what they mean.

Shrieking or Screeching

Hearing your AC shriek or screech can be loud enough to really surprise you. Shrieking usually signals that your air conditioner motor has something wrong. It’s common for motors to wear down with age, so the sound may happen as your AC gets closer to the end of its lifespan. If you do hear shrieking, turn your AC off right away and give us a call. Allowing the sound to continue will only lead to more damage. 


Grinding is another sound that commonly originated in an AC motor. If the motor loses lubrication in between intricate parts, it results in a grinding sound. The AC loses lubrication when dust and dirt build up in the motor, absorbing lubrication so that components are dry. Grinding can sound like your AC is struggling to work as it should. It’s easy to prevent grinding by investing in professional air conditioner maintenance. Our team can clean and lubricate the AC motor each year to prevent grinding.

Rattling or Tapping

Rattling and tapping are less serious than some other AC sounds but both still warrant immediate attention. Rattling can signal that a part broke off somewhere in the unit and is moving around during operation. Tapping can mean that a part is Your AC unit is loose and hitting against another component when your AC is on. Even though your air conditioner is still running, a loose component can spread damage to other areas and lead to a breakdown. 

Bubbling or Hissing Sounds

Bubbling and hissing sounds are almost always due to an AC refrigerant line leak. The leak will sound like something is bubbling if there is a hole in an area of the line where the refrigerant is in its liquid form. A leak will sound more like hissing if there is a hole in an area of the line where the refrigerant is gas. Leaking refrigerant is dangerous for your home and family. Plus, it makes your AC less effective and you may experience less cooling as time goes on. 

Clicking Sounds

Your air conditioner clicks at the beginning and end of each cooling cycle. But hearing clicks at any other time, like while your unit is running, is a problem. Clicking sounds can be difficult to identify since it can be a much quieter sound than others your AC can make, but it’s worth paying attention to. Clicking can indicate that the AC compressor is turning on and off causing short cycling, which can lead to extensive wear.

Thank you for choosing Ace Hardware Home Services. Call us today to schedule an appointment for air conditioning service.

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