Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is working? There’s a strong probability there’s something wrong with your unit. If you ignore it, it could lead to extensive—and expensive—issues eventually. We’re going to help you figure out what’s happening 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 identify 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. Old 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 no doubt an electrical issue.
  • Clicking – Clicking can hint 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 outdoor unit can mean an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • Humming – Humming can be related to fan motor issues or a damaged relay switch. Head to our humming noise guide for more information. 

You can find additional information about prevalent air conditioning problems on energy.gov 

Should I keep operating my air conditioner when it’s making a noise? 

There are some 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 inspecting your system. 

In most cases, we recommend turning 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 expense, it’s smart to get problems taken care of 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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