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Schaal Plumbing, Heating and Cooling Blog

Beware These Ominous AC Noises

An air conditioner unit outside a brick home in a residential neighborhood. The air conditioner is in a back yard in the hot summer season.The best way to prevent the costliest of air conditioning repairs is by scheduling routine air conditioning maintenance before summer even begins. If you skipped it this year, however, that’s okay—it’s not too late to schedule a tune-up with us and sign up for our comprehensive AC maintenance program.

Even with maintenance, however, there is always a chance that you may need Des Moines, IA air conditioning repairs at some point—after all, no home comfort system lasts forever! Your air conditioner is really no exception, with a limited lifespan of which when it nears the end, it’s a good idea to look into the possibility of a replacement. When the time comes, we can help you determine whether repair or replacement is the better option. In the meantime, beware of these noises, and be ready to call in a professional when you hear them.

Hissing or Bubbling

If you hear a hissing or bubbling sound coming from your air conditioner, it’s very likely the result of air bubbles that exist within your refrigerant line. This only occurs when you have damage along the line, which is repairable, but a serious problem that should not be neglected. Ignoring the issue can lead to a decline in AC performance.

As soon as you hear this type of noise coming from your cooling system, you’ll want to shut your system off to prevent further damage, and then give our pros a call. Your refrigerant will need to be refilled—recharged—and the area of damage will need to be sealed to prevent this problem from occurring again.


One of the various components within your air conditioning system is the air handler. This part functions by moving air throughout your home during its operation. The air handler is comprised of a large motor, which has a fan attached to it. When it runs, a large amount of strain is put on the air handlers, and therefore the motor and fan have a series of lubricated bearings to help them do their jobs.

These bearings are vital in assisting your air handler so that it operates smoothly. This also helps your cooling system work better overall. But just like any other appliance, or component, over time it will wear down. As a result, the friction on the air handler increases and produces a loud grinding sound. As soon as you hear this, it’s vital that you call for repairs.


This is one of the most apparent signs that something is amiss with your cooling system. Short-cycling is the name given to the process in which your compressor turns on and off every couple of minutes, which is the sound you will hear. This is a problem for a couple different reasons. For starters, it cuts down significantly on your AC’s ability to circulate cool air.

Additionally, the process of short-cycling ramps up the level of wear and tear that the system has to deal with overall. Prolonged short-cycling will cause components of your AC to wear down and fail faster than they would have otherwise. If the problem persists without being repaired, it can shorten the lifespan of the unit.

Short-cycling can be caused by poor initial installation, if the cooling system wasn’t sized correctly and is too large for your home. In this case, you’ll notice the problem right away. If you’ve had your system for awhile though and are just now noticing this sound, then the problem could be as simple as a clogged air filter—which should be changed every 1 to 3 months—or as serious as a malfunctioning component within the compressor—which is cause for immediate repair services. Regardless of what you think the problem may be, if you aren’t able to resolve it by changing your air filter, it’s time to give us a call.

Contact Schaal Heating and Cooling for quality air conditioning services.

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