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Why Your Air Conditioner is Making Strange and Ominous Noises

AC-FanIf you’ve started using your air conditioner over the last couple of weeks, and suddenly it’s making some kind of odd noise that it hasn’t made before, you should definitely have it looked at. Strange noises are often an indication that something is wrong with the system, something that probably needs to be professionally repaired. How bad the problem is will depend on the sound the system is making. Let’s go over some of the common noises that indicate a need for professional repairs.

Hissing and Gurgling

Hissing, gurgling, bubbling, any noise that sounds like the last few bubbles of soda being sucked through a straw. These are all indications that there are air bubbles in your system where there shouldn’t be. Probably in the refrigerant line, which means you have a refrigerant leak.

Refrigerant leaks are a problem because they deprive the system of the fluid it needs to actually cool your home. As the refrigerant level in the system drops, so too does its ability to cool. Eventually the refrigerant level will drop low enough that the air conditioner will be unable to sustain operations, and will shut down. Make sure you call for repairs as soon as you can if you hear this noise coming from your air conditioner, especially if you also notice fluid leaking from the system.


The air handler is the part of the air conditioner responsible for circulating air throughout the home while the system is operating. The air handler motor is put under a lot of strain while the system is working, so to help it cope it’s outfitted with a number of oiled bearings. These bearings keep the motor running smoothly, but they don’t last forever. Eventually, they will wear down and the friction on the air handler motor will increase. This may cause the motor to make a grinding sound while the system is operating. If you hear that sound, you need to call for repairs. The bearings will need to be replaced before the system overheats and burns out.

Short Cycling

Short cycling is where the air conditioner turns itself on and off every few minutes instead of completing a full cooling cycle. It’s commonly the result of an electrical issue in the system. Short cycling prevents the air conditioner from cooling properly, but it also accelerates the rate at which the system as a whole wears down. Prolonged short cycling will make the air conditioner more and more likely to break down in other ways, and can even shorten its lifespan by a number of years. You should make sure that you have a professional check out your air conditioner as soon as possible if it’s short cycling.

Southwest Heating and Cooling provides a full range of air conditioning repair services in Littleton, CO. If your air conditioner is acting strangely, contact us today and make an appointment with one of our expert technicians. We’ll make sure that your air conditioner is restored to top operating condition.  

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