AC Techs Inspecting AC Noises

Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Noise?

Published on July 26, 2019

Hearing odd noises when your air conditioner is working? There's probably something wrong with your unit. If you don’t fix it, it could lead to extensive—and expensive—problems later. We're going to help you understand what’s going on with your air conditioner and what you can do to fix it.

8 Common Air Conditioning Noises

  • Gurgling - Gurgling generally indicates an issue with your refrigerant line. If you can't identify where the noise is coming from, that's alright. A technician can help find out where this noise is occurring. You can learn 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 create a noise outside your house. Aging ductwork can produce noise inside your house. Browse our crackling noise guide for more information.
  • Hissing - Hissing can be created by a damanged 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 additional information.
  • Clicking - Clicking can indicate you have a loose part or that the fan is misaligned. You can find more information in our clicking noise guide.
  • Pulsating - Pulsating can come from 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. Read our loud noise guide for additional information.
  • Humming - Humming can begin with fan motor issues or a busted relay switch. Head to our humming noise guide for more information.

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


Should I keep running my AC 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 hard to answer this question without examining your system.

In most cases, we recommend shutting off the unit off and contacting a professional.

When should I do something about the noise?

We recommend calling a professional as soon as you recognize there's an issue with your unit. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected cost, it's smart to get problems corrected right away. Contacting 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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