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Odd Air Conditioning Noises, and What They Mean

Two Units of AC

Summer is the time of year when you have to be most careful of problems developing in your air conditioner. The system is being used more often than it normally is, which means the added strain can create new problems or exacerbate old ones. Preventive maintenance is ideal for lessening the odds of this happening and should be scheduled every spring to keep your air conditioner in proper shape. Even if you do that, though, you still need to be on-guard for signs that your system is experiencing trouble. The faster you can get your air conditioner repaired, the better off the system will be. Let’s go over one of the first major signs that homeowners notice that their air conditioner is in trouble: odd noises.


Your air conditioner contains a part called the air handler, which blows air throughout the home while the system is running. Inside the air handler are bearings designed to limit the amount of friction the air handler motor is put under. Over time, the bearings in the air handler will wear down and the friction on the motor will increase. If you hear a grinding sound coming from the air conditioner while it’s running, you need to call for repairs. The bearings will need to be replaced before the air handler motor overheats and burns out.

Short Cycling

If you hear your air conditioner turning on and off every couple of minutes instead of completing a full cooling cycle, that’s short cycling. Short cycling is often the result of electrical issues and prevents the air conditioner from cooling the home as well as it should. Short cycling also dramatically increases the amount of wear and tear the system accumulates over time. The chances of problems developing in the air conditioner rise the longer the system is allowed to short cycle. Short cycling can also shorten the lifespan of the air conditioner by a number of years if it isn’t dealt with as soon as possible, so make sure that you call for repairs if you notice your system doing it.


Hissing noises generally mean that your air conditioner has air bubbles in the refrigerant line. That means you probably have a leak in your system. The air conditioner recycles refrigerant back and forth throughout its life in order to cool the home. The system should never need more refrigerant added to it, unless there’s a leak. The lower the refrigerant level in the air conditioner drops due to a leak, the less ability it will have to cool the home. At some point, the refrigerant level can drop low enough that the entire system breaks down. So, make sure that you call for repairs whenever you notice fluid dripping from your system along with that hissing noise.

Air On Demand provides comprehensive air conditioning services throughout Cutler Bay, FL. If you need help getting your air conditioner back into working order, contact us today for an appointment. We’ll make sure that your air conditioner is ready for the summer heat.