Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is running? There’s a strong probability there’s something wrong with your AC. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to extensive—and expensive—problems eventually. We’re going to help you understand what’s happening 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. 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 create a noise outside your house. Aging ductwork can cause noise inside your house.
  • Hissing – Hissing sounds coming from your AC can be caused by a faulty 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 clear 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 broken relay switch. Check out our humming noise guide for more information. 

You can find further information about frequent air conditioning troubles on energy.gov 

Should I keep running my system when it’s making a noise? 

There are limited 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 looking at your system. 

In most cases, we recommend shutting down 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 unit. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected spend, it’s best 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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