Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Hearing odd noises when your air conditioner is running? There’s likely something wrong with your unit. If you ignore it, it could lead to major—and expensive—issues down the road. We’re going to help you figure out what’s going on with your air conditioner and what you can do to fix it. 

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises 

  • Gurgling – Gurgling usually indicates a problem with your refrigerant line. If you can’t pinpoint where the noise is coming from, that’s alright. A professional can help determine where this noise is occurring.
  • 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. Old ductwork can cause noise inside your house.
  • Hissing – Hissing sounds coming from your AC can be caused by a leaky refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor.
  • Buzzing – Buzzing is likely an electrical issue.
  • Clicking – Clicking can mean you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned.
  • Pulsating – Pulsating can be caused by a loose part.
  • Loud Noise – A loud noise from your outdoor unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler.
  • Humming – Humming can be related to fan motor issues or a broken relay switch. Check out our humming noise guide for more information. 

You can find additional information about common air conditioning issues on energy.gov 

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

There are some 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. 

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 recognize there’s something wrong with your system. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it’s best to get problems fixed 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 schedule online for a free, in-home consultation. 

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