Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing odd noises when your air conditioner is working? There's likely something wrong with your AC. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to extensive—and expensive—issues later. 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 normally indicates a problem with your refrigerant line. If you can't identify where the noise is originating from, that's alright. A professional can help verify where this noise is occurring. You can learn more information on our gurgling noises guide.
  • Crackling - Crackling could come from debris in the unit or aging ductwork. Debris in the outdoor unit will create a noise outside your house. Mature ductwork can create noise inside your house. Check out our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be created by a faulty refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Peruse our hissing noise guide for more info.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is likely an electrical issue. Check out our buzzing noise guide for more information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can hint you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned. You can check out 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 external unit can indicate an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Look at our loud noise guide for supplementary information.
  • Humming - Humming can begin with fan motor issues or a broken relay switch. Read through our humming noise guide for more information.

You can find more information about frequent 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 difficult to answer this question without inspecting your system.

Most of the time, we recommend turning the unit off and contacting a professional.

When should I do something about the noise?

We recommend calling a professional as soon as you suspect there's a problem with your air conditioner. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected cost, it's better to get problems fixed 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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