It's worrisome when your air conditioner makes unusual noises because you don't know if it's a sign of impending failure. It's usually a good idea to call an HVAC contractor to investigate so you're not left without air conditioning on a hot day. Most repairs needed to fix unusual noises require a professional anyway. Here's a look at what might be causing the noise. 

Noise In The Air Handler

The air handler is the portion of the AC that sits indoors. If you track down the noises and find they are coming from there, a few things could be to blame. If you hear a rattling sound, check to make sure the cover panel isn't loose. Tightening the screws might solve the problem. Rattling can also be caused by a screw that came loose and fell inside the unit. Lift the panel and look inside for a screw laying on the metal surface. When you're checking the HVAC, only remove the outside panel. The inner panel should only be removed by the contractor for safety reasons.

If you hear a squealing sound, it could indicate the belt in the motor has slipped off or it is worn out. Unusual sounds could also be a sign the bearings in the motor are bad. In that case, the entire motor needs replaced.

Unusual Sounds In The Compressor

The compressor is the part of the AC that sits outdoors. Unusual noises here could be caused by a bad motor, a failing capacitor, or the low voltage transformer. An HVAC contractor will need to run a diagnostic test on the compressor to find out what's wrong and to do repairs. If your compressor has debris in the cage or twigs stuck in the fins, you can try cleaning it first to see if that makes a difference. If you clean the compressor or open the lid to see what's going on inside, be sure to cut off the power first. Also, keep in mind, you might void the warranty if you tinker around with the HVAC. Unless the fix is something obvious and simple, it's best to wait for a pro to solve your AC problem.

Sometimes unusual noises can be difficult to pinpoint. They may even be coming from the ducts rather than the air conditioning unit. When you hear odd sounds, you don't want to ignore them. If a motor or capacitor is going bad, you might suddenly be without air conditioning if you don't get the problem repaired in time. For more information, reach out to an HVAC service like Always Ready Repair.