Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is working? There’s likely something wrong with your system. If you don’t fix it, it could lead to major—and expensive—problems eventually. 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 complication with your refrigerant line. If you can’t identify where the noise is emanating from, that’s alright. A technician can help find out 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 create noise inside your house.
  • Hissing – Hissing sounds coming from your AC can be caused by a faulty 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 come from a loose part.
  • Loud Noise – A noticeable noise from your outside unit can mean an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • 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 further information about common air conditioning problems on energy.gov 

Should I keep operating my air conditioner 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 examining your system. 

Usually, 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 recognize there’s an issue with your unit. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected spend, it’s best to get problems corrected right away. Contacting a professional could help reduce 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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