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Serving Austin, TX and surrounding areas since 1979


Haunting AC Noises and What They Mean

outdoor unit of an air conditionerWe have certainly had our share of chilly mornings so far this fall, some of them just in this past week. But as any Austin resident knows, we can still be facing warmer temperatures and heat waves well through winter. That said, if your air conditioner is experiencing any trouble, there’s no time like the present to manage them!

This is especially true for unsettling noises coming from your cooling system. Noises that might seem minor now are always the sign of something amiss within your system, and should therefore never be ignored. But what noises are we referring to, exactly? Keep reading to learn about a few.


If your AC system is emitting a grinding noise while in operation, then it’s probably due to an issue with the air handler of the system. The motor of the air handler is comprised of a number of oiled bearings to help fend off friction during operation.

These bearings tend to wear down over time, causing the friction on the air handler motor to slowly increase. Once that friction gets high enough, the air handler motor starts making a grinding noise. If you hear this, your immediate next step should be to turn off the system and call for repairs. The bearings will need to be replaced before the air handler motor overheats and burns out as a result.


No, there probably isn’t a snake stuck in your AC vents! If you hear a noise that resembles hissing or air coming out a punctured tire, what you’re probably hearing is the result of air bubbles in the refrigerant line, which means you have a leak. The lower the refrigerant level in your cooling system dips because of a leak, the lower your system’s output capacity will drop in response.

Eventually, your air conditioner’s refrigerant level will drop to the point that the AC system will be forced to shut down. So make sure that you call for repairs as soon as you notice fluid dripping from your system or a hissing noise coming from it.


If your cooling system turns itself on and off every couple of minutes, this process is called short-cycling. It can be caused by a number of underlying issues, including electrical problems and compressor malfunctions. Regardless of the cause, however, the more important part is that it poses a threat to your air conditioner.

Short-cycling cuts down on your air conditioner’s ability to cool the living space, and also accelerates the rate at which the AC wears down. Prolonged short-cycling will make your cooling system more susceptible to breaking down, and shorten its lifespan, as well. For this reason, you should call for repairs as soon as you notice your system short-cycling.

Always Trust a Pro

What if you hear a noise coming from your air conditioner that we didn’t describe above? You know the daily noises of your air conditioner better than anyone else does. So if you hear anything out of the ordinary, chances are it’s not a good thing, and it should be inspected by a pro—better to be safe than sorry!

When you need service for your air conditioning in Austin, TX, contact Roznovak’s Services ASAP.

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