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Touchstone Heating & Air Inc. Blog

Do These AC Noises Mean It’s Time for Replacement?

When you hear an unusual sound coming from your air conditioner, you want to call for service sooner rather than later. Unusual sounds always mean that something is wrong with your AC, and putting off a maintenance call can lead to a system breakdown.

If you’re having AC problems and think it may be time for an AC replacement in Alachua, FL, our team can help. You can keep reading to learn more about unusual sounds and what they might mean is going on inside of your air conditioner.


A screeching sound can also be described as scraping or screaming. It’s usually high-pitched and sounds like metal grinding on metal. Screeching is a problem because it usually indicates there is a problem with your compressor motor or blower motor. Both of these parts can be very expensive to replace, so if you hear screeching you need to turn your AC off right away. Let our team inspect it and find out what is wrong before you allow it to continue running. 


If you hear a knocking or tapping sound coming from your air conditioner, there’s probably a component loose inside. It may be loose, but still attached and hitting against another component during operation. Or, it may be completely free and moving around through your air conditioner, which is a bigger problem. Just like when you hear screeching, you want to turn off your AC to prevent further damage.


If you hear a whistling sound, that could be a few things. The most concerning is the potential for a refrigerant leak. If there is a leak in the refrigerant line where refrigerant is in its gas form, it will make a whistling sound as the gas escapes. But whistling could also indicate small puncture holes in your ductwork that is allowing air to escape before reaching your home. 


It is not uncommon to hear a rattling sound coming from your ductwork when temperatures fluctuate. Your ductwork is made of thin sheet metal and expands and contracts with temperature changes, resulting in a rattling sound.

Hearing a rattle once in a while is not a problem, but if you begin to hear persistent rattling, you definitely want to get it checked out. Your ductwork may be loose, which aside from making noise can also impact airflow into your home. 


Your air conditioner clicks when the compressor motor turns on and off at the beginning and end of the cooling cycles. However, if you hear clicking at any other time, it can indicate that the compressor motor is malfunctioning.

Clicking can be hard to distinguish because it can be a very quiet sound, but pay attention if you begin to hear clicking come from your AC too often. The unit may be short cycling and turning on and off instead of staying on for the full length of a cooling cycle.

Call Touchstone Heating and Air 24/7 for exceptional customer service! Serving the communities of North Central Florida since 1998.

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