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What’s that Sound? 8 Common Air Conditioning Noises & Their Causes

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Modern central air conditioning systems are designed to produce next to no noise. If you start to notice loud sounds coming from your unit, there’s most likely a problem that needs fixing.  

 

The first step to solving the mysterious clang and clatter from your AC unit is to get a clear diagnosis of the issue. In most cases, you need a professional HVAC technician to evaluate the symptoms so they can find the right solutions to get your AC back in business.  

 

We share some common air conditioner noises that you shouldn’t ignore and what could be causing them.  

 

  1. Banging 
  2. Bubbling 
  3. Buzzing  
  4. Clicking 
  5. Hissing 
  6. Humming 
  7. Rattling 
  8. Screeching 

 

 

1. Banging  

 

A banging noise from your unit may indicate damage to the compressor. This AC part distributes refrigerant throughout your HVAC system to remove heat from your space. If your system is suffering from a lifetime of wear and tear or acute damage, parts can become loose within the compressor.  

 

When your AC is starting up, you may hear loud banging noises if there are issues with the compressor. The sound is created by the detached pieces rattling against the exterior frame of the compressor. 

 

If this is the case, it may make the most sense to replace the entire air conditioner with a more efficient model that will ultimately save you money on energy in the long run! 

 

2. Bubbling 

 

Excess moisture is usually the culprit for a bubbling sound from your AC unit. Odds are there is a blockage, crack, or hole somewhere in your drainage pipe. A certified professional will have the tools, equipment, and knowledge to safely and effectively fix the issue so moisture from your system can properly drain. 

 

3. Buzzing  

 

A buzzing sound is one you should never ignore, as it could indicate loose or unbalanced fan blades in your condenser unit. It could additionally be from a: 

 

  • Damaged fan motor 
  • Dirty condenser coils 
  • Other loose components 
  • Obstruction near the copper lines connected to your AC  
  • Refrigerant leak 

 

A refrigerant leak is the most severe potential problem behind the noise. Regardless of what you think the problem may be, you should stay proactive and hire a licensed technician.  

 

4. Clicking  

 

The occasional clicking noise may not signal an issue, as it could just be the start or end of a cooling cycle. However, if your AC is clicking continuously, there’s likely an issue. The most likely offender is a broken thermostat.  

 

 

Removing and installing a new thermostat takes skilled hands, so call ACHV Services to take back control of your HVAC system! 

 

 

5. Hissing  

 

Hissing noises point to a duct leak somewhere in your home. The ducts carry air throughout your home to maintain quality and even cooling across your various rooms. A leak in your ducts can result in wasted energy as your air conditioner attempts to compensate for lost air.  

 

If a duct leak isn’t the problem, it might be a problematic expansion valve or an improperly sized air filter.  

 

Pro Tip: Regular maintenance and inspections will prevent grimace-causing noises and prolong the lifespan of your system. 

 

6. Humming  

 

A defective contactor relay switch starts the outdoor condenser when it’s triggered by the thermostat. This could be what’s causing your humming noise. If this is the case, you won’t be able to turn on your AC until a licensed technician investigates the issue and completes any necessary repairs.  

 

7. Rattling 

 

In some cases, a rattling noise may just be the cause of loose sticks, dirt, or leaves that are stuck in your unit. Disassembling the unit to clean out any debris may be the simple fix to the sounds.  

 

In a more unfortunate situation, this noise could be from a damaged electrical contractor. This issue needs to be fixed as soon as possible so that no damage is done to your compressor.  

 

8. Screeching  

 

Screeching noises are never pleasant, especially when they come from your air conditioning. Most commonly, screeching sounds come from issues with the fan motor in the outdoor unit. The fan is intended to remove heat from the refrigerant, so if it isn’t working, your HVAC system won’t be able to effectively draw heat from your home.  

 

In other instances, it could be problems with the blower motor inside your home. This will additionally prevent your AC from doing its job to maintain comfort in your space.  

 

 

Learn More > What to Do if Your AC Freezes Up 

 

 

 

Turn Down the Volume with ACHV Services 

 

Unwanted noises from your home are never something you want to hear. Sounds from your HVAC system might be concerning, but this is why it’s crucial to address the problem as soon as possible.  

 

Our experts at ACHV Services will identify the underlying issue and solve the problem. Trust in our experienced professionals to get the right repairs and avoid costly repairs down the road. Schedule your inspection!  

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