Any sign of air conditioner trouble on a burning hot summer day is a cause for concern. When you start hearing anything unusual, you may become concerned that the unit will die on you and you'll have to wait for an air conditioning service professional to figure out the cause of the problem and fix it. Luckily, there could be a few actions you can take to resolve an A/C issue so that it continues to provide your home with cool air; here are two weird noises you may hear and what you may be able to do.
A particularly alarming sound coming from the air conditioning unit, a squealing noise can make you think something is seriously wrong. Typically, whenever you hear this sound, it's related in some way to the fan or the fan belt inside the unit. The fan is powered by the belt, which is powered by the unit's motor. The belt, a rubber strip, turns and causes the fan to start moving. Because of all the motion, the belt itself can become torn and snap, or it can melt a bit due to heat related to friction and the motor. At that point, because the belt is no longer in place, the sound of metal grinding against metal can create a disconcerting squeal-like sound.
By opening the unit's access panel, you can look in and check whether the belt is root of the air conditioning problem. If you can see the belt and it's intact, you may be able to feed it into place. If there is obvious damage, make note of the unit's model number and find out if a home improvement store can offer you a replacement.
If you hear something knocking or rattling about inside the unit, you may suspect a problem. Many times that problem is, in fact, another fan-related issue. Over time, the knob which ensures the fan doesn't roll off into the inner cavity of the unit gets a little loose. That allows the fan to shimmy up and down the spindle and bump into the knob; if this is happening, you may hear some rattling. Simply tightening the fan's knob should make things right.
Weird noises shouldn't always scare you when you've got the air conditioning unit working, especially if you know you can do some of the things discussed above. If you still have a problem after attempting the solutions here, call up an air conditioning service that can dispatch someone to your home to help you quickly.