Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing odd noises when your air conditioner is running? There’s probably something wrong with your unit. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to extensive—and expensive—troubles down the road. We’re going to help you figure out what’s happening with your air conditioner and what you can do to fix it. 

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises 

  • Gurgling – Gurgling usually indicates an issue with your refrigerant line. If you can’t determine 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 create a noise outside your house. Old ductwork can produce noise inside your house.
  • Hissing – Hissing sounds coming from your AC can be created by a damanged refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor.
  • Buzzing – Buzzing is probably 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 external unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • Humming – Humming can arise from fan motor issues or a broken relay switch. Read through our humming noise guide for more information. 

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

Should I keep operating my air conditioner 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 hard to answer this question without inspecting your system. 

In most cases, we recommend turning 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 suspect there’s an issue with your air conditioner. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it’s better to get problems corrected right away. Contacting 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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