Sounds and Smells That Tell You That Your AC Is Breaking Down

Sounds and Smells That Tell You That Your AC Is Breaking Down

When your air conditioning system is doing its job, you may not notice it much. However, there are a few signs that your air conditioner needs professional service to prevent major problems in the future. Abnormal sounds and odors can be signs of many problems. While you may resolve some of these problems on your own, most require the help of a professional technician.

Sounds That Indicate Problems

Hissing or Whistling

Hissing or whistling sounds coming from your air conditioner could signal a refrigerant leak. Shut off the system right away and have a trained technician examine it. Chemical leaks can be dangerous for anyone in the house.

Buzzing or Clicking

A buzzing or continuous clicking may imply an electrical problem. If you hear these sounds, shut off your air conditioner at once. If you experience this outside, the compressor may be to blame.

Rattling or Banging

It’s possible something has come loose inside your system if you hear banging or rattling. They can also be signs of an unbalanced blower. While you may simply need a bolt tightened, it’s a good idea to have a professional check for signs of other problems loose parts may have caused.


Something may have clogged the drain line in your air conditioner if you hear gurgling or bubbling. Often, the clog is simply made up of algae, dirt, dust, or similar debris. It will need to be cleared away before it causes further issues.

You likely need air conditioning repair if your air conditioner makes any of these noises. A professional service technician can diagnose the exact problem and safely perform any necessary repairs.

Smells That Indicate Problems

Mildew or Mold

When an AC emits a musty scent, mold or mildew may be growing. You need to get rid of any mold as soon as possible to protect your family’s health. While you may be able to do this repair, a professional can also take care of the problem for you.


A rotting aroma might suggest an animal has gotten into your system and died. Besides eliminating the source of the odor, a well trained technician may also determine how the animal got in and prevent any other animals from entering.


If you smell an acrid, burning odor coming from your air conditioner, turn the system off right away. Such smells are often signs of an electrical problem, which can pose a fire hazard if left running. You need to call an air conditioning repair service right away. You shouldn’t turn the unit back on until a professional has examined it.

These are not all of the indicators of necessary repairs, but they are some of the most common complaints resulting in the need for professional service. You should never ignore any of the signs listed here. It is always better to take care of a problem before it becomes out of control. Professional air conditioning repair at the first sign of trouble will save you money in the long run and could prevent more serious damage and danger.

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