Hearing strange noises when your air conditioner is working? There's probably something wrong with your system. If you ignore it, it could lead to major—and expensive—troubles down the road. We're going to help you figure out 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 pinpoint where the noise is originating from, that's alright. An expert can help verify where this noise is occurring. You can find 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 generate a noise outside your house. Aging ductwork can create 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 information.
- Buzzing - Buzzing is no doubt an electrical issue. Check out our buzzing noise guide for more information.
- Clicking - Clicking can indicate 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 caused by a loose part. Check out our pulsating noise guide for more information.
- Loud Noise - A clear noise from your external unit can signal an issue with your compressor, damper, fan or air handler. Check out our loud noise guide for additional 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 additional information about frequent 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 difficult to answer this question without inspecting your system.
Most of the time, we recommend shutting down 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 an issue with your system. While AC repairs can be stressful and an unexpected expense, it's best to get problems corrected right away. Calling 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.