Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing weird noises when your air conditioner is running? There's probably something wrong with your system. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to significant—and expensive—troubles eventually. We're going to help you understand what’s occurring with your air conditioner and what you can do to correct it.

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises

  • Gurgling - Gurgling generally indicates an issue with your refrigerant line. If you can't pinpoint where the noise is originating from, that's alright. A technician can help find out 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 cause a noise outside your house. Mature ductwork can produce noise inside your house. Check out our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be caused by a damanged refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Look through our hissing noise guide for more on that.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is likely an electrical issue. See our buzzing noise guide for additional information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can indicate 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. Check out our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A noticeable noise from your external unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Read our loud noise guide for more information.
  • Humming - Humming can arise from fan motor issues or a broken relay switch. Read through our humming noise guide for more information.

You can find additional information about common air conditioning troubles 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 inspecting your system.

In most cases, 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 think there's something wrong with your unit. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it's better to get problems corrected right away. Contacting a professional could help reduce 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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