Your home's HVAC system plays a key role in keeping your home comfortable. That's why you want to be aware of potential problems that could lead to the system breaking down prematurely. For an air conditioner, it's possible that you'll actually hear some problems before you start feeling them with warm air coming through the ductwork. Here are two of those sounds that you want to keep your ears open for.
One commonly heard sound from an outdoor air conditioner is flapping, though it is not a normal sound that should be ignored. In most situations, that flapping sound is due to debris that has become stuck inside your air conditioner. Twigs and leaves from nearby trees, grass clumps from your lawn mower, and even animals can become stuck in the air conditioner's compressor. Birds may try to make a nest in the unit during the spring, and then it will interfere with the unit's operation in the summer.
You'll need to shut down the power going to the air conditioner before you can address this problem. Then remove the screws that are holding on the protective grate that is supposed to prevent debris from getting into the air conditioner. Remove as much debris as you can by hand before spraying down the internal components with a garden hose. Run water through the fins of the unit from the inside so that the debris is pushed out of the unit.
Do you sometimes hear a loud bang from the air conditioner air handler found in your home? This means that you likely have a problem with the fan blades of the blower motor that have become loose or warped, and are not hitting against something that they shouldn't.
Once again, shut down the power going to the unit so that it does not turn on accidentally. Access the air handler by removing the access panel, and take a close look at the fan blades. Try giving them a spin and see if there is anything off about them. If the fan blade is damaged, you may need a replacement part. If it's loose, look to see if there is anything that can be tightened to prevent it from moving while rotating.
These are just two sounds that your air conditioner could be making that are a reason of concern. Reach out to an air conditioning repair contractor if you need help troubleshooting other sounds.