Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is working? There’s probably something wrong with your system. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to major—and expensive—troubles down the road. We’re going to help you find out what’s happening with your air conditioner and what you can do to fix 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 technician can help verify where this noise is occurring.
  • Crackling – Crackling could come from debris in the unit or aging ductwork. Debris in the outdoor unit will cause a noise outside your house. Aging ductwork can produce noise inside your house.
  • Hissing – Hissing sounds coming from your AC can be created by a leaky refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor.
  • Buzzing – Buzzing is likely an electrical issue.
  • Clicking – Clicking can mean you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned.
  • Pulsating – Pulsating can be caused by a loose part.
  • Loud Noise – A noticeable noise from your outside unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • Humming – Humming can arise from fan motor issues or a damaged relay switch. Check out our humming noise guide for more information. 

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

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

There are a few 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 looking at your system. 

Usually, we recommend shutting off the unit off and calling a professional. 

When should I do something about the noise? 

We recommend calling a professional as soon as you suspect there’s an issue with your air conditioner. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected spend, it’s smart to get problems taken care of right away. Getting 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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