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 don’t fix it, it could lead to extensive—and expensive—problems eventually. We're going to help you understand what’s happening with your air conditioner and what you can do to correct it.

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises

  • Gurgling - Gurgling generally indicates a complication with your refrigerant line. If you can't determine where the noise is originating from, that's alright. A technician can help find out 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 create a noise outside your house. Old ductwork can cause noise inside your house. Check out our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be caused by a faulty refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Check out our hissing noise guide for more on that.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is probably an electrical issue. See our buzzing noise guide for further information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can indicate 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. Go through our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A clear noise from your external unit can mean an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Check out our loud noise guide for supplementary information.
  • Humming - Humming can arise from fan motor issues or a busted relay switch. Head to our humming noise guide for more information.

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


Should I keep operating my AC 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 almost impossible to answer this question without inspecting your system.

Most of the time, 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 think 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. 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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