Picture the scene. You’re enjoying a lazy day at home relaxing in front of the TV when all of a sudden you hear it. What is that noise? It sounds awful, like a piercing metallic grinding sound. It seems to be getting louder and louder. You get up to trace the source. It’s coming from somewhere around your home. It seems like it’s coming from your AC unit. You step away, scared that something is going to shear off inside. It really is that loud!
If you’ve experienced this in your home, you’ll know how annoying and worrying the problem can be. The good news is that the sound and the cause can be fixed. In this article, we’ll take a look into what could be making your AC behave this way and what can be done about it.
What Sound Should an AC System Make?
When your air conditioning is functioning normally, it should make minimal noise – sort a hum, or perhaps a bit of low-decibel sound as it kicks on. Think of your dishwasher or washing machine, for example. However, these noises will blend into the other household appliance sounds you’re used to around your home. It’s other sounds you need to worry about. If you hear squealing, grinding, rattling, or banging, it’s time to call in the experts. These sounds are never normal and could signify that a part is about to fail and take your entire AC system down.
What is Causing That Grinding Sound?
There are several reasons why your AC is making a loud grinding sound. While these issues are usually easy to fix, you must act quickly to avoid a complete replacement being required. Let’s take a look.
Worn Out or Bad Compressor Pistons
One of the most common reasons that AC units make a grinding sound is due to bad pistons in the compressor. The compressor is the heart of your AC system. It’s responsible for pumping the refrigerant through the air conditioner’s system so that it can be converted from a liquid to a gas. This operation happens throughout the day. As the compressor starts to wear out over time, the pistons can produce a grinding sound when your AC is running. In these cases, the entire compressor will usually need to be replaced, and in some cases, it may be more economical to consider a whole new air conditioner.
Problems with the Condenser Fan
Another reason for the grinding sound could be down to a problem with your condenser fan or more specifically a broken or damaged blade. If fan blades aren’t perfectly aligned, the bent or damaged metal can grind against other metal components inside your unit. Over time, the constant friction and movement against other parts can cause them to fail. You may be able to see the condition of your fan by looking through the upper grille of your unit. This problem needs to be dealt with quickly to avoid severe damage to other components. In most cases, the fan will need to be swapped out with a new part.
Worn Out Motor Bearings
Worn motor bearings inside your unit can also cause the grinding sound you hear. As the motor runs, the worn bearings will make a noise as they rub against the metal housing of the motor. An experienced HVAC expert will be able to tell whether the bearings are at fault. It may be possible to replace these bearings, but often it’s more economical to replace the entire motor.
Why You Should Never Ignore Strange AC Noises
Sudden noises coming from your AC unit should always be investigated as a matter of urgency. If they are ignored, the problem could get worse resulting in a complete replacement of your AC unit being required. Other noises to listen out for include squealing, rattling, banging, and thumping. These are never a sign of something good. The faster they are dealt with, the faster you can return to comfort! Plus, having things fixed early gives them less of a chance to snowball into something worse.
Call in the Experts!
Metro Air Limited proudly serves Brampton, ON, and the surrounding areas. Our skilled technicians are no strangers to air conditioning repairs and we’ll make light work of any strange sounds as quickly as possible. We’ll ensure we leave your AC system operating as quietly as it’s supposed to and that you are completely satisfied with the work we carry out. Integrity, professionalism, and respect are at the heart of everything we do and it shows. Call us today to book an appointment and say goodbye to that grinding sound for good!