Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is working? There's a strong probability there’s something wrong with your AC. If you ignore it, it could lead to significant—and expensive—problems eventually. We're going to help you understand what’s happening with your air conditioner and what you can do to correct it.

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises

  • Gurgling - Gurgling usually indicates a complication with your refrigerant line. If you can't identify where the noise is coming from, that's alright. A professional can help find out where this noise is occurring. You can learn more information on our gurgling noises guide.
  • Crackling - Crackling could be due to debris in the unit or aging ductwork. Debris in the outdoor unit will cause a noise outside your house. Old ductwork can create noise inside your house. Browse our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be caused by a faulty refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Look through our hissing noise guide for more on that.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is no doubt an electrical issue. Check out our buzzing noise guide for further information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can indicate you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned. You can see more information in our clicking noise guide.
  • Pulsating - Pulsating can be due to a loose part. Take a look at our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A clear noise from your external unit can indicate an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Check out our loud noise guide for more information.
  • Humming - Humming can arise from fan motor issues or a busted relay switch. Read through our humming noise guide for more information.

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


Should I keep operating my system 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 almost impossible to answer this question without examining your system.

Most of the time, we recommend shutting down 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 a problem with your system. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it's better to get problems taken care of 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 fill out the form below for a free, in-home consultation.

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