Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is running? There’s probably something wrong with your system. If you don’t fix it, it could lead to extensive—and expensive—issues later. We’re going to help you find out what’s occurring 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 pinpoint where the noise is emanating from, that’s alright. A technician can help find out where this noise is occurring.
  • Crackling – Crackling could be due to debris in the unit or aging ductwork. Debris in the outdoor unit will generate a noise outside your house. Mature ductwork can create 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 no doubt 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 loud noise from your outside unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • Humming – Humming can begin with fan motor issues or a busted relay switch. Check out our humming noise guide for more information. 

You can find additional information about frequent air conditioning problems 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. 

In most cases, we recommend turning 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 smart to get problems corrected right away. Calling 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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