AC Techs Inspecting AC Noises

Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Published on July 26, 2019

Hearing weird noises when your air conditioner is working? There's likely something wrong with your system. If you ignore it, it could lead to major—and expensive—problems eventually. We're going to help you find out what’s happening with your air conditioner and what you can do to change 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 originating from, that's alright. An expert can help determine where this noise is occurring. You can read 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 generate a noise outside your house. Aging ductwork can cause noise inside your house. Read our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be caused by a leaky refrigerant line, an internal valve leak or the compressor. Check out our hissing noise guide for more info.
  • Buzzing - Buzzing is no doubt an electrical issue. See our buzzing noise guide for more information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can mean 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 due to a loose part. Go through our pulsating noise guide for more information.
  • Loud Noise - A noticeable noise from your outside unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Look at our loud noise guide for supplementary information.
  • Humming - Humming can arise from fan motor issues or a damaged relay switch. Read through our humming noise guide for more information.

You can find additional information about common air conditioning troubles on energy.gov


Should I keep operating 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 difficult to answer this question without inspecting your system.

Most of the time, we recommend shutting off 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 recognize there's a problem with your air conditioner. 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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