Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is on? There’s probably something wrong with your unit. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to significant—and expensive—issues eventually. We’re going to help you figure out what’s going on with your air conditioner and what you can do to change it. 

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises 

  • Gurgling – Gurgling generally indicates a problem with your refrigerant line. If you can’t determine where the noise is coming from, that’s alright. A technician can help verify where this noise is occurring.
  • Crackling – Crackling could result from debris in the unit or aging ductwork. Debris in the outdoor unit will generate a noise outside your house. Aging ductwork can produce noise inside your house.
  • Hissing – Hissing sounds coming from your AC can be caused by a damanged refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor.
  • Buzzing – Buzzing is likely an electrical issue.
  • Clicking – Clicking can indicate you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned.
  • Pulsating – Pulsating can be caused by a loose part.
  • Loud Noise – A clear noise from your external unit can mean an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • Humming – Humming can arise from fan motor issues or a damaged relay switch. Read through our humming noise guide for more information. 

You can find further information about common air conditioning troubles on energy.gov 

Should I keep running my system 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 inspecting your system. 

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

When should I do something about the noise? 

We recommend calling a professional as soon as you suspect there’s a problem with your unit. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected cost, it’s better to get problems taken care of right away. Contacting a professional could help lower future expenses and keep your system running longer. 

Not sure if your air conditioner is making any of these noises? Please schedule online for a free, in-home consultation. 

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