If you have the unsettling feeling something isn't quite right in your home and have heard odd sounds or seen things moving on their own, you may be tempted to think your house is haunted. While that could be the case, it is more likely that the culprit is your air conditioner. Check out these common ways your AC can mimic signs of the paranormal.
#1 Cold Spots
Nearly everyone knows that cold spots are often attributed to ghostly activity as paranormal entities reportedly drain energy from the environment to manifest themselves. But that's not the only thing that can cause some areas of your home to be colder than others. Leaks in the ductwork may allow the cold air from your AC to leak in unexpected places. If you notice cold areas in your home that don't seem to have an explanation (other than the ghostly kind), check the ductwork and seal all the joints.
#2 Doors Open and Close On Their own
Nothing is quite as spooky as doors that seem to have a mind of their own and swing open when no one is around. But this is one unexplained phenomenon that could be explained by an air conditioner that is too large for your space. Oversized air conditioners can contribute to negative air pressure in the home. When this happens air from outside will be drawn through cracks or crevices around door and windows and the motion of the air may cause room doors to seemingly open on their own. Likewise, if the front door is not closed securely, it may suddenly swing open as air gushes in. If the AC is working too hard and blows too much air into the room, it will have the opposite effect and cause positive air pressure in your living space. This will cause doors to suddenly slam shut without a visible cause. If you observe doors opening or closing on their own, check to see if the AC is running. Have your AC checked to make sure it is the appropriate size for your space.
#3 Weird Noises
Hearing strange noises in the walls or sounds that appear to emanate from nowhere are a common report from people experiencing paranormal activity. But your air conditioner can cause these too. Consider these unusual sounds that can come from your air conditioner:
Bubbling or Gurgling: This weird sound can happen at any time and isn't always easy to locate. It's really the sound of condensation as it drains down the line in your AC. It can also signal a refrigerant leak, so if you hear ghostly gurgling, call your HVAC dealer to have him check the condensate line.
High-Pitched Scream: Randomly hearing a high-pitched scream may send shivers up your spine, but it's probably not a ghostly communication. Your outside AC unit may emit this sound for a few seconds when it kicks on. It is most likely pressure in the compressor. The next time you hear this eerie sound, check to see if your AC just turned on.
Bumps and Thumps: Things that go bump in the night are the stuff ghost stories are made of, but there is a more likely reason for these sounds, too. If you hear bumps, thumps, or knocks from the vicinity of your outside unit, the fan cage may be loose or a foreign object may have accidentally gotten too close to the fan.
#4 Phantom Smells
No good haunting is without the presence of phantom smells, particularly a sudden foul odor. Believe it or not, your air conditioner may be at the root of unusual odors, too. A stinky-feet smell can be caused by mold and mildew building up in the ductwork or on the condenser coils. Unusual chemical smells may indicate a leak in one of the fluids in your AC unit. If you smell unusual odors coming from your AC, call your HVAC contractor right away.
If you are experiencing these unusual sights, sounds, and smells in your home, hold off on calling in the paranormal investigators and give your AC installation contractor a call instead.