If your air conditioner is making loud or strange noises, then chances are it needs repairs. But what repairs might it need — and can you tell from the sounds alone? Check out the following guide, which lists some of the most common repairs for noisy air conditioners.

Replacing the Fan Belt

Your air conditioner cools the air and then delivers it to a blower unit, which blows it through the ducts and into your home. This blower unit is a mechanical appliance, and as such, it has a motor with a belt. The belt can fray or tear as the AC unit ages. When this happens, you'll start to hear a squealing or screeching noise every time the AC unit turns on. The squealing may start off slow, speed up, and then slow down again when the AC is about to turn off. Luckily, an HVAC contractor can easily remove and replace the fan belt. This is a rather minor repair, and new fan belts are affordable.

Repairing a Refrigerant Leak

Does your AC make a boom or pop sound? It may occur a couple of times when the AC is first turning on, and then less frequently once it is blowing out cold air. This booming or popping noise could be the refrigerant rapidly expanding inside of the coils. This will happen if you have a refrigerant leak and there is no longer enough coolant to fully fill the coils. Your HVAC contractor can locate and repair the leak and then top off the refrigerant levels. However, if your AC unit is more than a few years old, it may not be worth making this extensive repair.

Repairing or Adjusting the Ducts

If the sound you're hearing has a hissing or whistling quality, it might not be coming from the AC unit itself. Instead, it might be coming from the ducts. If one of the ducts is separated from the system or has a hole in it, the air coming through the gap may hiss and whistle. An HVAC contractor can repair and adjust the ducts. This doesn't usually take long. Not only will your system quiet down, but you'll likely notice your energy bills are lower after these repairs.

If your AC unit is making unpleasant sounds, don't ignore it. Usually, all it will need is a simple repair to get it operating quietly once again. For more information on air conditioning repair, contact a professional near you.