Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

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 occurring with your air conditioner and what you can do to fix it. 

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises 

  • Gurgling – Gurgling generally indicates an issue with your refrigerant line. If you can’t pinpoint where the noise is emanating from, that’s alright. An expert 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 generate a noise outside your house. Mature ductwork can produce noise inside your house.
  • Hissing – Hissing sounds coming from your AC can be caused 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 come from a loose part.
  • Loud Noise – A noticeable noise from your outdoor unit can mean an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • Humming – Humming can begin with fan motor issues or a broken relay switch. Check out our humming noise guide for more information. 

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

Should I keep running my AC 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 hard 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 suspect there’s an issue with your unit. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected cost, it’s best to get problems taken care of right away. Contacting 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 schedule online for a free, in-home consultation. 

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