Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing odd noises when your air conditioner is running? There's a strong probability there’s something wrong with your unit. If you don’t fix it, it could lead to extensive—and expensive—troubles eventually. We're going to help you understand what’s going on with your air conditioner and what you can do to correct it.

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises

  • Gurgling - Gurgling normally indicates a problem with your refrigerant line. If you can't pinpoint where the noise is emanating from, that's alright. A professional can help determine where this noise is occurring. You can read more information on our gurgling noises guide.
  • Crackling - Crackling could come from debris in the unit or aging ductwork. Debris in the outdoor unit will create a noise outside your house. Mature ductwork can produce noise inside your house. Check out our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be caused by a faulty refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Check out our hissing noise guide for more on that.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is likely an electrical issue. Read our buzzing noise guide for further information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can mean you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned. You can check out more information in our clicking noise guide.
  • Pulsating - Pulsating can come from a loose part. Go through our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A noticeable noise from your outside unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Look at our loud noise guide for supplementary information.
  • Humming - Humming can begin with fan motor issues or a damaged relay switch. Head to our humming noise guide for more information.

You can find more information about prevalent air conditioning problems on energy.gov


Should I keep using my air conditioner when it’s making a noise?

There are limited cases where you can continue to run your AC, but you do so at your own risk. It's almost impossible to answer this question without examining your system.

Most of the time, we recommend shutting down the unit off and contacting a professional.

When should I do something about the noise?

We recommend calling a professional as soon as you recognize there's a problem with your air conditioner. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected spend, it's best to get problems fixed right away. Getting a professional could help minimize future expenses and keep your system running longer.

Not sure if your air conditioner is making any of these noises? Please fill out the form below for a free, in-home consultation.

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