Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

July 26, 2019

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is on? There's a strong probability there’s something wrong with your unit. If you don’t fix it, it could lead to major—and expensive—issues later. We're going to help you find out what’s going on with your air conditioner and what you can do to change it.

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises

  • Gurgling - Gurgling normally indicates an issue with your refrigerant line. If you can't determine where the noise is originating from, that's alright. An expert can help verify 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 create a noise outside your house. Mature ductwork can cause noise inside your house. Check out our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can come from a leaky refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Peruse our hissing noise guide for more info.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is probably an electrical issue. Check out our buzzing noise guide for further information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can mean 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 caused by a loose part. Check out our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A clear noise from your external unit can indicate an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Read our loud noise guide for more information.
  • Humming - Humming can be related to fan motor issues or a busted relay switch. Head to our humming noise guide for more information.

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


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

There are limited 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 shutting off 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 system. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it's better to get problems corrected 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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