AC Techs Inspecting AC Noises

Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Published on July 26, 2019

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is working? There's a strong probability there’s something wrong with your system. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to extensive—and expensive—problems down the road. We're going to help you find out what’s occurring with your air conditioner and what you can do to fix it.

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises

  • Gurgling - Gurgling generally indicates a complication with your refrigerant line. If you can't determine where the noise is emanating from, that's alright. A technician can help verify where this noise is occurring. You can read 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 generate a noise outside your house. Mature ductwork can produce noise inside your house. Read 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. Read our buzzing noise guide for additional information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can mean you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned. You can find more information in our clicking noise guide.
  • Pulsating - Pulsating can come from a loose part. Go through our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A clear noise from your outside unit can mean an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Check out our loud noise guide for additional information.
  • 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 prevalent air conditioning troubles 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.

Most of the time, we recommend shutting off 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 spend, it's best to get problems corrected right away. Getting 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 fill out the form below for a free, in-home consultation.

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