When you or a loved one suffer an asthma attack, you probably pull out an inhaler, or in the most serious of cases, head to the emergency room. But what should you do when your air conditioner starts making whistling and wheezing noises as it blows out air? An inhaler won't help you here, but following these steps just might!
Step 1: Make sure the filter is clean.
You'd probably start wheezing and struggling to breath if you had to breath through a thick sock or a dirty respirator mask. It's just hard to push air through such a dense material. This could be your air conditioner's problem: it's trying to push air through a dirty filter, and the air is causing the filter to vibrate and make a wheezing noise as a result.
If you have not changed or cleaned your AC filter in a month or more, now is the time to either switch it out with a new one (if you have a disposable filter), or give it a thorough cleaning (if you have a reusable filter).
Step 2: Check the vents.
If your AC unit still sounds like it's having an asthma attack after you change or clean the filter, it's time to walk through your home and take a look at each of the vents. If too many of these vents are closed, the AC unit will be trying to force a lot of air through just a few vents. This can result in whistling and wheezing noises as the unit is designed to force air through a much larger space. If you have a lot of vents closed, try opening more of them to see if this quiets down the problem.
You should also check to see whether you have furniture blocking some of your vents, effectively closing them off to air flow. Moving such furniture may quiet your system down.
Step 3: Schedule a duct cleaning.
If you've tried changing the filter and opening all of the vents, but to no avail, your next step should be calling a local HVAC company to schedule a duct cleaning appointment. There is likely an obstruction in one of your ducts, which causes a wheezing noise as air struggles to move around it. This could be a clump of dust, a birds' nest, or even a toy. It's important to clear the obstruction since continuing to run your AC system with an obstruction in place puts a lot of strain on the unit.
Hearing whistling and wheezing when your AC kicks on is never a good thing, but thankfully, your HVAC technicians are well trained to treat asthmatic air conditioners! For more information, contact companies like Pell City Heating & Cooling Inc.