Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is working? There's a strong probability there’s something wrong with your unit. If you don’t pay attention to it, it could lead to significant—and expensive—troubles down the road. 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 usually indicates an issue with your refrigerant line. If you can't determine where the noise is emanating from, that's alright. A professional 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 cause noise inside your house. Browse our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be caused by a damanged refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Check out our hissing noise guide for more on that.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is likely an electrical issue. Read our buzzing noise guide for further information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can hint 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 be caused by a loose part. Go through our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A loud noise from your external unit can mean 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 busted relay switch. Read through our humming noise guide for more information.

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


Should I keep running my air conditioner 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 examining your system.

Most of the time, we recommend shutting down the unit off and calling a professional.

When should I do something about the noise?

We recommend calling a professional as soon as you suspect there's a problem with your system. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected spend, it's better to get problems fixed right away. Getting 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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