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Picture Rocks Cooling Heating & Plumbing Blog

4 AC Sounds That Mean Trouble


The sounds your air conditioner makes should mostly fade into the background of your summer lifestyle. The fan whooshes as it blows the cooled air into your home. The compressor hums as it cycles on to circulate the refrigerant through the coils. Sometimes, a little condensation may drip off the evaporator coil, or the metal ducts may make a bit of noise as they change temperature. 

But there are some noises you definitely don’t want to hear, and if you notice them, it’s time to look into AC repair in Catalina, AZ. Here are the top four sounds that you should listen for, so that you can get problems sorted out before they get any worse.

Clatter or Bang

Rattling or banging that sounds like a pebble in a can might be caused by a pretty small problem. It could be that something has simply started to come loose, and needs to be tightened. A fan may have gotten a little bit off its axis and be rattling as it turns. Chances are this will be a small repair, but it must be attended to promptly. For one thing, loose parts could come completely free and damage another component if you keep running your AC while it’s making this noise. For another thing, it’s important to rule out any other possible causes of this noise.

Bubble or Hiss

Does your air conditioner sound like a Halloween cauldron full of mysterious liquids? This type of sound is generally caused by the refrigerant that flows through your air conditioner, soaking up heat indoors and releasing it outside. It may be that some damage has occurred to the coils the refrigerant flows through, allowing refrigerant to leak out and air to bubble in. Our professional technicians are trained and licensed to handle refrigerant, which is something you should never try to do yourself.


Does your air conditioner’s cooling cycle start with a boom worthy of a fighter jet? Professionals refer to this as hard-starting. It indicates that there’s a problem with the compressor. Because this is the heart of the air conditioner, pumping the refrigerant throughout the system, it is the most critical component. Without it, you simply don’t have an air conditioner. If you hear this sound, you must schedule repairs immediately.


Unless your air conditioner is full of bees, the most likely culprit behind a buzzing sound is an electrical problem. Because this can be very dangerous, you should not attempt to investigate the sound yourself. Turn the unit off and call for repairs.

Above all, you should get familiar with the sound of your air conditioner’s regular cycle. Notice when any noises occur that you don’t normally hear. Changes in your air conditioner’s sound can indicate changes in how it’s operating, so anything unexpected is cause for concern.

Contact Picture Rocks Cooling, Heating & Plumbing today to schedule an appointment with our professionals.

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