Noisy systems are one of the most common complaints customers have about their air conditioners. And it’s no wonder! It’s almost impossible to ignore a noisy air conditioner when your AC starts screeching or hissing every time you turn it on.
While some people think this might just be a normal part of their system, it is not. In fact, strange sounds could signal a very serious problem with your AC. The last thing any homeowner wants is to suddenly be left with no air conditioning in the middle of the summer. That’s why it’s vital to have your air conditioner checked by a professional as soon as it starts to make strange noises.
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11 Common Air Conditioning Noises & What They Mean
Any one of these sounds coming from your AC can be a sign that there is an underlying issue that needs to be addressed before it causes damage and costly repairs. When your air conditioner is talking to you, it is asking for help! Read on to discover why your air conditioner is making certain noises and what you can do to stop them.
1. Banging Noise
The outdoor unit’s fan is hitting something. Could be an obstruction like a stick that shouldn’t be there, or the fan has come loose from the mount and is wobbling and hitting its protective cage. Do not continue to run your air conditioner, it could cause even bigger problems. Turn off your AC and get it fixed by a professional air conditioning contractor.
2. Bubbling or Gurgling Noise
A gurgling noise while your air conditioner runs can come from the condensate drain line, or could be a sign of a refrigerant leak. it probably won’t hurt anything to continue running your air conditioner, but make sure the condensate drain line has a proper trap. If you think it’s a refrigerant issue (it could be combined with warm air blowing out of the handler) have a professional check out your AC system.
3. Loud Buzzing Noise
Buzzing or humming from your air conditioner usually means there is an electrical issue in your system. Electrical issues are extremely hazardous as many house fires result from sparks that come from bad or damaged wiring. If you hear buzzing or humming coming from your AC unit, turn it off right away and call for help!
4. Clicking Noise
There is an obstruction in the fan blade. Clicking noises can also be caused by problems with the thermostat.
5. Grinding Noise
Something is wrong with the fan motor. Generally, the fan just needs to be lubricated, but it could be a more serious problem.
6. Hissing or Whistling Noise
If you hear hissing or whistling sounds from your air conditioner, you probably have a refrigerant leak. Leaks are common when ductwork needs maintenance, or it could indicate that the copper wires that transport refrigerant are damaged.
Other common causes of refrigerant leaks include:
- Damaged valves
- Holes in a capillary tube
- Faulty flare connections
- Rusted heat pump
- Leaking coils
If you think your refrigerant is leaking, contact a reputable AC company. Exposure to refrigerant can be dangerous, so it’s important to hire a professional to address the problem.
7. Humming Noise
The motor is trying to turn on but is unable to.
8. Popping Noise
This happens when the ductwork expands and moves out of shape. It is a sign that you may need new ductwork.
9. Rattling Noise
Rattling noises are common when it comes to air conditioners. With all the moving parts involved in heating and cooling your home, over time, screws in your system can become loose. When this happens, they fall and rattle around inside your AC. If you can pinpoint where the rattling is coming from, look if anything needs to be tightened in your inside unit and see if you can easily do so. As for your outside unit, it is also common to hear a rattling sound coming from the system. Rattling noises happen when debris falls into the fan grill, usually after a storm or hurricane! Before attempting to remove anything from the fan grills, make sure the unit is properly shut off to avoid injury.
If you have checked both the indoor and outdoor units and ruled out loose parts and debris, it’s probably due to a bad blower fan or time for a new compressor. Rattling is one indicator that your compressor is old and needs replacement soon.
Other common symptoms of a failing compressor include:
- System is blowing warm air
- Compressor doesn’t turn on at all
- Circuit breaker keeps tripping
- Outside unit shakes when it starts up
10. Screeching Noise
It can also sound like a screaming noise. There is an unusual amount of internal pressure. This can be extremely dangerous. If you hear this noise, shut down your system at once and call a professional technician.
11. Scratching Noise
It’s not uncommon for animals to get trapped in the ductwork. Any scratching, scurrying, or rattling movements may mean you can some unwanted visitors.
How to Fix a Noisy Air Conditioner
Whatever the cause of your noisy air handler, you’ll want to consult with a professional technician right away. A professional HVAC technician can help you figure out why your air conditioner is so loud.
Don’t ignore odd air conditioner noises! You want to fix a noisy air handler as soon as possible to avoid costly repairs.
Contact Complete Air Mechanical for AC Repair Service in Central Florida
Do what’s right for your AC and get that sound checked out! While it may be nothing major, strange noises could indicate serious issues. If you’re having problems with your noisy AC, give Complete Air a call today! Our experienced technicians will help with whatever problems you have, and have your AC running efficiently and quietly in no time.