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Serving the South Puget Sound and Western Washington Areas Since 1976

Serving the South Puget Sound and Southwest Washington Areas Since 1976

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Sunset Air Blog

Why Your Air Conditioner is Making Odd Noises

air-conditionerWith the hot summer months upon us, you’re probably using your air conditioner frequently. That’s all well and good, but you should be careful about the added stress increasing the chances of problems developing with the system. You can’t totally remove the odds of a problem coming up with your air conditioner. However, the faster you can recognize a problem with your system, the faster you can get it repaired and the more damage you can prevent. One of the easiest ways to tell that your air conditioner is in need of repairs is to listen for any odd noises that may come from it while it’s operating.


Is your air conditioner making any hissing or gurgling noises while it’s operating? If so, you probably have air bubbles forming in your refrigerant line. That means you have a leak somewhere. Air conditioners totally rely on refrigerant to cool the air. They evaporate refrigerant to absorb thermal energy from the home’s ducts and then condense it back into liquid to vent the collected heat out of the home. An air conditioner does not consume refrigerant, but recycles it back and forth throughout its lifespan.

If a leak develops in the refrigerant line, the air conditioner’s output capacity will drop over time along with the fluid level. Eventually, the fluid level can drop so low that the air conditioner will fail entirely. So if you notice that your air conditioner is making this noise, especially if there’s fluid dripping from the system, call for repairs right away.


Your air conditioner removes heat from the home using a part called an air handler, which is basically a large motor with a fan attached to it. The air handler is put under a lot of stress while the system is operating, so it uses lubricated bearings to reduce the friction. The bearings in the system will wear down over time, causing the friction on the air handler to increase and producing a loud grinding sound. If you hear this sound, you should have a professional examine the system as soon as possible. If the bearings are not replaced in time, the air handler motor will overheat and burn out.

Short Cycling

Short cycling is when your air conditioner turns itself on and off every couple of minutes. It is often caused by an electrical issue between the thermostat and the air conditioner, though there are other possible contributing factors. What’s important is the effect that short cycling can have on your system.

Short cycling dramatically increases the amount of wear and tear on the air conditioning system, making parts break down more frequently and causing increased repair costs. If the issue is not fixed in time, it can shorten the lifespan of the air conditioner. Make sure that you have a professional examine your system as soon as possible if you notice it is short cycling. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.

Sunset Air offers a full range of air conditioning repair services in Olympia, WA

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