Ugh! Why Is My A/C Making That Noise?

With their sound-dampening technology, modern air conditioners are quieter than ever. This is why any unexpected noises coming from your AC unit should be a cause for concern. Ignoring them can turn minor expenses into serious problems, so it’s best to deal with them right away. Here are 8 common types of noise your AC can make.

1. Banging

This is often an indicator of a broken or loose part inside the unit’s compressor. This can be anything from a piston pin to a connecting rod. On rare occasions, banging can be a sign of an unbalanced indoor blower or compressor failure.

2. Squealing

Fan and blower noises such as squeals and squeaks tend to go be connected with the duct system. The blower wheel, indoor blower motors, and outdoor fan motors will all squeal when they start going bad. That said, some units always make this sound at start-up.

3. Buzzing

A buzzing noise could be an indicator of many distinct issues. These include debris in the unit, loose fan blades, blower going bad, copper lines rubbing against something, and so on. It could also be a sign of refrigerator leaks, which may cause your air conditioning to freeze up.

4. Clanking

This is another typical sign of loose or unbalanced parts. It could mean that one of the parts inside the sealed unit has failed or that the compressor itself has become loose. If the outdoor fan and its blades are hitting other parts, they can produce the clanking sound as well.

5. Humming

A humming sound is one of the less ominous failure indicators, but it’s still an issue. This points to electrical problems or refrigerant piping causing vibration. If your compressor refuses to start and produces a humming sound, it could be a motor issue.

6. Rattling

This noise usually means that your unit is deteriorating, leading to some parts getting loose. Alternatively, your system may be clogged by twigs and leaves. The electrical contractor is another potential culprit and may damage other components if it’s not dealt with.

7. Clicking

The unit’s electrical components are expected to click at start-up and shutdown, but not all the time. Constant clicking points to a failing thermostat or a defective control. An AC unit has plenty of electrical parts, so it’s important to identify electrical issues right away.

8. Screaming

High-pitched screaming or whistling is a sign you should shut down your AC unit immediately and call a professional to inspect it. Most of the time, this will happen due to a refrigerant leak, which may threaten your family’s health. Screaming can also be an indicator of high internal pressure within the compressor, which is also very dangerous.

With most of these noises, your best course of action is to turn off your unit as a precaution. Air conditioning units cost a lot to replace, so it’s in your best interest to keep them ticking. Keep in mind that a yearly tune-up should prevent most of the above problems.