Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is working? There’s likely something wrong with your AC. If you don’t fix it, it could lead to significant—and expensive—troubles later. We’re going to help you understand what’s going on with your air conditioner and what you can do to fix it. 

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises 

  • Gurgling – Gurgling usually indicates a problem with your refrigerant line. If you can’t determine where the noise is originating from, that’s alright. A technician can help find out 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. Aging 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 likely an electrical issue.
  • Clicking – Clicking can indicate you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned.
  • Pulsating – Pulsating can be due to a loose part.
  • Loud Noise – A noticeable noise from your outside unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • 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 more information about frequent air conditioning troubles on energy.gov 

Should I keep operating my system 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 difficult to answer this question without inspecting your system. 

Most of the time, we recommend shutting off the unit off and bringing in a professional. 

When should I do something about the noise? 

We recommend calling a professional as soon as you recognize there’s something wrong with your system. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it’s better to get problems taken care of right away. Getting a professional could help lower 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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