5 HVAC Noises That Indicate Damage

Aug 29, 2022 | Uncategorized

Today’s HVACs are often less noisy than older models. Therefore, the sound of your HVAC usually melts into the background and becomes part of your home’s sound, and you can only notice the functioning unit when you hear an unexpected noise.

Unusual HVAC noises usually indicate that something is not right. So the banging, screeching, or clanging in your HVAC often means you need to consult an HVAC technician. Learn five HVAC noises that indicate damage below.

1. Hisses

Hissing can mean different things depending on where you hear the sound coming from. If the hissing sound in your HVAC comes from the compressor, you may have a refrigerant leak. The sound may also indicate very high internal pressure levels in the compressor, which may damage it.

Refrigerant leaks make your HVAC inefficient at cooling your home. Additionally, HVAC refrigerant contains chemicals that are poisonous to humans. You may suffer refrigerant poisoning from leaking HVAC refrigerant. The poisoning has life-threatening symptoms such as:

  • Breathing difficulties
  • Irregular breathing
  • Seizures
  • Fluid buildup in the lungs

Therefore, treat a hissing sound as a repair emergency.

2. Squeals

A squeal in your AC indicates one of its moving components is likely failing, usually the motor or fan. A loose fan belt produces a squealing sound as the AC fan rotates. You may need to replace a loose fan belt.

If the squealing is not constant, it may not indicate a major problem. In such cases, high humidity levels may have made the fan belt expand or contract, causing it to go off-kilter. Either way, ensure your HVAC technician looks at your HVAC to eliminate the possibility of damage.

Squealing may also indicate motor bearing problems or a motor that needs lubrication.

3. Bangs, Clangs, and Rattles

Loose or broken HVAC components produce a rattle, bang, or clanging sound as the HVAC runs. Parts in the motor and blower are usually the culprits of banging and clanking in the HVAC. The loose motor or blower part may have broken off if the clanging or banging gets louder.

Bangs or clangs in your ductwork may indicate something is stuck in them, either debris or a pest. On the other hand, a constant rattle in the ductwork means a portion of your air ducts is loose.

Broken or loose HVAC parts can cause severe problems and thus require immediate repairs.

4. Booms

A boom in your HVAC is usually the result of a carbon particle and gas buildup in your furnace. This buildup happens when the furnace tries to relight from the pilot light or electric ignition and fails. Once the carbon particles and gas build up in the combustion chamber, they ignite at once, which produces the boom.

Delayed furnace ignition is hazardous because your furnace may fill up with gas that could cause a flash fire when a person tries to light the pilot light manually. Make sure to clean and inspect your furnace chamber to avoid delayed ignition.

5. Whistles

If you hear a high-pitched whistle from your HVAC, turn off the appliance and call your HVAC technician immediately. A high whistle indicates pressure buildup in your HVAC, which may cause the unit to explode if not turned off.

An HVAC system may many causes of pressure buildup. They include:

  • Overcharged refrigerant
  • A failing check valve
  • A clogged refrigerant line
  • Contaminants in compressor valves
  • Low airflow in the condenser

Whistles may also indicate a clog that has blocked airflow in your air ducts or vents.

Regular HVAC maintenance can prevent most of the problems mentioned above. Your HVAC technician can diagnose and replace a worn or loose component before the unit causes problems. Timely resolution of HVAC problems also saves you costly repairs or component replacements down the line.

Contact the HVAC technicians at E & R Heating & Cooling for HVAC repairs and maintenance in Milwaukee to keep your HVAC noise free.