Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing weird noises when your air conditioner is running? There's likely something wrong with your system. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to major—and expensive—issues later. We're going to help you figure out what’s going on 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 determine 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 cause a noise outside your house. Mature ductwork can produce noise inside your house. Read our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be created by a faulty 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 more information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can indicate you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned. You can find 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 clear noise from your outside unit can mean 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. Check out our humming noise guide for more information.

You can find further information about common 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 hard to answer this question without inspecting your system.

Most of the time, we recommend shutting off 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 suspect there's something wrong with your air conditioner. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected cost, it's best to get problems fixed 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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