air-conditionerIt’s never a good sign when your air conditioner starts to make weird noises in the middle of the hottest season of the year. There could be a number of reasons why this is the case, none of which are good. What kind of problem your air conditioner is experiencing, and how severe it is, depends on the kind of noise you’re hearing. Let’s take a look at some of the warning sounds that your air conditioner is experiencing issues, and what they mean.


Your air conditioner circulates air throughout your home during operation using a part called an air handler. The air handler is basically just a large motor with a fan attached to it. In order to cope with the large amount of friction generated during operation, the air handler motor has a number of oiled bearings inside it. These bearings wear down over time, causing the friction on the system to increase. Eventually, the friction becomes high enough that the air handler starts to make a loud grinding sound during operation. If you hear this sound, you should call for repairs as soon as possible. If the bearings in the air handler motor are not replaced quickly enough, it will overheat and burn out.


Hissing and gurgling noises are common in air conditioners where there are air bubbles present in the refrigerant line. This means that there is a leak somewhere in the line, which spells very big trouble for the system. Air conditioners rely on a static supply of refrigerant, which they receive upon installation and which they recycle back and forth to cool the home. A refrigerant leak will slowly deplete the supply available to the air conditioner, causing a steady drop in output. Eventually, the refrigerant level in the air conditioner will drop so low that the system will break down entirely. Make sure you have a professional examine your system if you hear this noise, or notice fluid dripping from any part of it.

Short Cycling

Short cycling is when your air conditioner turns itself on and off every couple of minutes. It can be caused by a short circuit between the thermostat and the air conditioner, or occasionally by a malfunctioning compressor. What matters, though, is the incredible damage that short cycling can cause if allowed to continue.

Short cycling is such a problem because it cranks up the amount of wear and tear that the air conditioner experiences over time, far above what it normally does. If the problem isn’t corrected in time, it can cause various parts of the system to begin failing in rapid succession. Prolonged short cycling can even shorten the lifespan of the air conditioner by a number of years. For this reason, it’s terribly important that you schedule a repair appointment as soon as you notice your air conditioner short cycling.

Tuckers Air Conditioning, Heating & Plumbing offers air conditioner repair services throughout Gaithersburg, MD. If you need air conditioner services, we can help. Contact us today to schedule an appointment with one of our experts.