Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is working? There’s likely something wrong with your unit. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to significant—and expensive—problems eventually. We’re going to help you find out what’s going on with your air conditioner and what you can do to change it. 

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises 

  • Gurgling – Gurgling normally indicates a complication with your refrigerant line. If you can’t determine where the noise is originating from, that’s alright. An expert can help find out where this noise is occurring.
  • 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. Mature ductwork can create noise inside your house.
  • Hissing – Hissing sounds coming from your AC can be created by a faulty refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor.
  • Buzzing – Buzzing is no doubt an electrical issue.
  • Clicking – Clicking can mean 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 begin with fan motor issues or a damaged relay switch. Check out our humming noise guide for more information. 

You can find more information about frequent air conditioning problems on energy.gov 

Should I keep running my air conditioner 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 inspecting your system. 

Usually, we recommend shutting down the unit off and calling 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 smart to get problems taken care of right away. Calling 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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