Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is on? There's likely something wrong with your unit. If you ignore it, it could lead to major—and expensive—issues eventually. We're going to help you figure out what’s occurring 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 verify where this noise is occurring. You can read 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 cause noise inside your house. Check out our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can come from a faulty refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Peruse our hissing noise guide for more information.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is probably an electrical issue. See our buzzing noise guide for more information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can mean you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned. You can see more information in our clicking noise guide.
  • Pulsating - Pulsating can be due to a loose part. Go through our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A loud noise from your outside unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Look at our loud noise guide for more information.
  • Humming - Humming can be related to fan motor issues or a damaged 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 AC 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 almost impossible to answer this question without looking at your system.

Most of the time, we recommend shutting off the unit off and contacting 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 unit. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected spend, it's better 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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