Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing odd noises when your air conditioner is on? There's probably something wrong with your AC. If you ignore it, it could lead to major—and expensive—problems down the road. We're going to help you find out what’s happening with your air conditioner and what you can do to change it.

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises

  • Gurgling - Gurgling usually indicates a complication with your refrigerant line. If you can't identify where the noise is originating from, that's alright. A technician can help verify where this noise is occurring. You can read more information on our gurgling noises guide.
  • 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 cause noise inside your house. Browse our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be created by a damanged refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Peruse our hissing noise guide for more info.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is likely an electrical issue. See our buzzing noise guide for additional information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can mean 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. Check out our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A clear noise from your outside unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Look at our loud noise guide for additional information.
  • Humming - Humming can be related to fan motor issues or a damaged relay switch. Check out our humming noise guide for more information.

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


Should I keep operating my AC 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 inspecting your system.

Most of the time, 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 recognize there's an issue with your system. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it's smart to get problems corrected 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 fill out the form below for a free, in-home consultation.

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