Why Would My AC Unit Whine Intermittently?

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Why Would My AC Unit Whine Intermittently?

I must admit I always smile a bit when I see all the products (t-shirts, coasters, wall hangings) with the play on words, “Wine a Little” indicating everything is better with a little wine. What doesn’t make me smile is when I hear customers of Merts Heating & Air Conditioning talking about a “little whine” coming from their AC unit. The description of the noise can vary, but when the AC in your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home is making strange noises it is a good sign you need air conditioning service.

You Must be a Sound Detective

Because even normal operation of an AC unit is noisy, it’s not always easy to isolate strange sounds that indicate a problem, but it is important to try. Each type of sound can indicate a different issue. Here are a couple of examples:

  • Squealing—For many years a high-pitched squealing sound was a sure sign of a loose or worn belt running between the motor and the fan. This can still be the case if you have an older air conditioner in your Steger, IL or Crown Point, IN house. Most newer AC units now have a direct drive connection between the motor and fan. In that situation the squealing sound likely means the bearings on the fan motor are damaged or worn out.
  • Buzzing—Loud buzzing sounds are also another sign you need air conditioning service. Some common causes for buzzing include:
    • A loose or malfunctioning electrical connection
    • A refrigerant leak
    • A loose part that vibrates when the AC unit is running
    • A malfunctioning compressor
  • Whooshing Air—I’m cheating a little bit here and talking about the “jet plane” effect of air whooshing through your HVAC registers and return ducts. In most cases this isn’t a problem with the AC unit but rather with your ductwork. For some reason, the airflow is restricted or is not correctly matched to the ducting. Wrong size ducts or a severe kink in the ductwork are two common causes.

Merts Heating & Air Conditioning is Here

When you hear, or even think you hear, strange sounds coming from the AC unit in your Illinois or Northwest Indiana home, it’s important you don’t just ignore it. Call Merts to schedule air conditioning service. Here’s the thing about strange noises coming from your HVAC systems: They are not just going to disappear on their own and chances are the problem is going to get worse and more expensive to repair. For more great information like this be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.