AC Techs Inspecting AC Noises

Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Published on July 26, 2019

Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is on? There's probably something wrong with your unit. If you ignore it, it could lead to significant—and expensive—problems eventually. 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 normally indicates a complication with your refrigerant line. If you can't pinpoint where the noise is coming from, that's alright. An expert can help verify where this noise is occurring. You can read more information on our gurgling noises guide.
  • Crackling - Crackling could result 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 come from a damanged refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Check out our hissing noise guide for more information.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is probably an electrical issue. Read our buzzing noise guide for additional 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. Go through our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A loud noise from your outdoor unit can indicate an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Look at our loud noise guide for more information.
  • Humming - Humming can arise from fan motor issues or a busted relay switch. Check out 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 system 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 difficult to answer this question without looking at your system.

In most cases, we recommend turning 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 a problem with your air conditioner. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it's smart to get problems corrected right away. Calling 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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