Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing odd 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 significant—and expensive—issues eventually. We're going to help you figure out what’s happening 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 emanating from, that's alright. A professional can help determine where this noise is occurring. You can find more information on our gurgling noises guide.
  • 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 create noise inside your house. Check out our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be created by a leaky refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Look through our hissing noise guide for more info.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is probably an electrical issue. Read our buzzing noise guide for more information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can hint 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. Take a look at our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A noticeable noise from your outdoor unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Read our loud noise guide for more information.
  • Humming - Humming can begin with fan motor issues or a damaged relay switch. Check out our humming noise guide for more information.

You can find further information about prevalent air conditioning issues on energy.gov


Should I keep operating my air conditioner 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 hard to answer this question without inspecting your system.

In most cases, we recommend turning 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 something wrong with your unit. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it's best to get problems taken care of right away. Contacting a professional could help minimize 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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