Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing odd 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—troubles eventually. We’re going to help you understand 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 complication with your refrigerant line. If you can’t identify where the noise is coming from, that’s alright. An expert can help determine where this noise is occurring.
  • Crackling – Crackling could result 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 come from a leaky 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 come from a loose part.
  • Loud Noise – A noticeable noise from your outdoor unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • Humming – Humming can arise from fan motor issues or a damaged relay switch. Read through our humming noise guide for more information. 

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

Should I keep operating my AC 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 almost impossible to answer this question without looking at your system. 

In most cases, 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 something wrong with your system. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected cost, it’s best to get problems taken care of right away. Getting 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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