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Warning Sounds From an AC That’s in Trouble


During the heat of the end of summer, it’s more important than ever to keep a close watch for potential problems with your air conditioning system. Or, as we’ll talk about specifically in this post, to keep an open ear for potential problems. Strange sounds are a common side effect of air conditioning malfunctions, so if you know what to listen for, you can often get an early warning that it’s time to call our technicians for air conditioning repair in Hillsboro, OH.

We’ll go over the most common repair warning sounds you may hear from your AC.

Mechanical shrieking and grinding

These are noises that are difficult to miss, although a surprising number of people still ignore them. These noises come from motors in the air conditioner (usually the blower motor or the compressor) that are either close to burning out or are already burning out. The shrieking is the noise of motor bearings wearing down; if the bearings fully wear down, the motor will burn out. Grinding means the motor is currently burning out. Shut off power to the AC at the electrical panel and call for professional repairs right away.

Bubbling or hissing

Refrigerant leaks are among the most devastating AC problems since an air conditioner is designed to run on a specific amount of refrigerant. Losing that amount will eventually result in the compressor failing. You can sometimes detect refrigerant leaks from the sound of refrigerant escaping through leaks: hissing for refrigerant in gaseous form, bubbling for refrigerant in liquid form. Only professionals can repair leaks and restore the proper amount of refrigerant. 


When you hear this sound, it probably means a moving part of the AC is striking against something it shouldn’t. In most cases, this is a problem with one of the fans. A bent blade or misaligned blower assembly can cause the blades of a fan to start to strike the casing. The damage will only worsen if allowed to continue, so shut off the AC and get the system repaired when you hear this noise.


This might be the simple problem of a door on the HVAC cabinet that isn’t fully latched. But it could also indicate any number of parts coming loose inside the AC, or parts that have come loose and are getting knocked around. Technicians can locate the loose parts and repair them.

Loud clicking

Clicking is a normal part of an air conditioner’s cycle: you’ll hear it as the system shuts down. This is the noise of motors and other parts cooling off. However, when you hear loud clicking noises from the AC, much louder than normal, or clicking that occurs continually, it’s something you’ll want a professional to investigate.


An electrical buzzing sound can warn of several different problems with the AC, most coming from the electrical components. You don’t want to tamper with any electrical part of the air conditioner, so leave the detective work and repairs to the professionals. 

Shafer Heating & Cooling, LLC: You are just one call away from the comfort and savings you deserve!

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