Listen for These Air Conditioner Noises

Time is of the essence when it comes to air conditioner repairs, especially during the summer. The faster you can identify the symptoms of an air conditioner problem, the faster you’ll be able to get it repaired and the better off it will be. One of the easiest ways to tell that your air conditioner is having problems is to listen for strange noises coming from the system. Let’s take a look at some of the noises that indicate a problem with your air conditioner.



Every air conditioner, whether it’s a central one or a ductless system, makes use of one or more air handlers to circulate air throughout the house. A lot of stress is put on the air handler motor during operation, so to compensate it is equipped with a number of oiled bearings. These bearings wear down over time, causing the friction on the motor to increase. This produces a loud grinding sound during operation. If you hear this sound, call for repairs right away before the air handler motor burns out.


Hissing and gurgling noises coming from the system indicate that air bubbles have formed in the refrigerant line. Refrigerant is the core of most air conditioning systems, and they cannot function without it. If a leak develops in the refrigerant line, it will drain the system until it breaks down entirely. Listen for this sound, and keep an eye out for any liquid that may be dripping from your system.

Short Cycling

Short cycling is when the system turns itself on and off every few minutes. While this may seem like a harmless quirk, it actually dramatically increases the amount of wear and tear on the system. If not fixed, it will make breakdowns happen more often and will shorten the lifespan of the system. Do not ignore this warning noise.

Magnolia Plumbing, Heating & Cooling offers a full range of air conditioning services throughout Arlington, VA.