For the most part, your home's central air conditioning unit is fairly quiet. You are probably used to the hum of the unit running and do not pay much attention to it. However, there are a couple of noises you should be aware of that will alert you to a serious problem with your home's AC unit.
1. Loud, Repetitive Banging Noise When the Compressor Is Running
One noise you should be on the lookout for is a loud, repetitive banging sound. This sound is usually present while the compressor is running.
A possible explanation for this noise is that the fan on top of the unit has become loose. You should be able to see whether this is the case by looking through the screen on top of the air conditioner and observing how the fan rotates.
However, a more serious cause of the banging noise could be the compressor. Inside of the compressor, which is responsible for circulating coolant throughout the system, are pistons, rods, and other moving parts. If one of these parts becomes loose, it will start to thrash around inside of the compressor, creating the sound.
If you do have a loose part, its constant movement and banging into other parts will eventually cause more damage, which could result in having to replace the compressor. As soon as you start hearing the banging, have a repair technician take a look at the compressor before more damage occurs.
2. Sound Resembling a Screaming Small Animal
Another sound that could alert you to a serious problem with your AC unit can be quite alarming to hear. You may hear a noise that resembles a screaming small animal in pain, such as a rodent or rabbit, coming from the unit itself.
Since a central AC unit is part of a closed system, you can first be assured that an animal has not become trapped inside. Usually, this screaming is caused by leaking coolant that is being pushed through a broken line or even the compressor casing.
If coolant is leaking through to the point that it is creating this screaming noise, turn off your unit immediately. The leaking coolant is most likely being spewed everywhere, and it could cause damage to the unit and the surrounding environment, and it also can pose a health hazard to you and your household.
If you hear either of the noises described above, there could be a serious problem with your central air conditioning unit that requires immediate attention. Turn off your AC unit and contact an air conditioning repair service right away to have them come look at the unit and take care of any issues they may find.