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How to Fix Weird Air Conditioner Sounds

How to Fix Weird Air Conditioner Sounds

Have you ever tried to sit back and relax, only to be interrupted by obnoxious noises from your air conditioner? If so, you’re not alone. While these air conditioner sounds can be harmless, they can also warn that your unit needs maintenance. But how do you fix your unit if you notice the AC making noise?

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Whether you’re a seasoned DIYer or someone who would rather call the professionals, we have tips for every homeowner. For those more complex situations, the Maitz team is just a call away. We’re always ready to diagnose the problem and fix the peskiest air conditioner noises.

What Noise Is Your Air Conditioner Making?

Your air conditioner can communicate with you by the sounds it makes. While some noises may be more annoying than harmful, others can indicate that you have a significant problem on your hands. The most common noises homeowners report hearing from their air conditioners include:

  • Banging
  • Buzzing
  • Clicking
  • Clanging
  • Cracking
  • Humming
  • Hissing
  • Rattling
  • Screeching and Squealing
  • Whistling

What Makes Your Air Conditioner Noisy?

At their peak, air conditioners are designed to run efficiently and quietly, offering cool comfort without disrupting your peace. But due to various circumstances, specific components get compromised or start to fail over time. This can result in your AC making noise, which might signal that it’s time for routine maintenance or a repair.

Recognizing the potential causes behind these sounds can help you address the issue promptly and keep your unit running at peak efficiency. A few possible causes of air conditioner sounds include:

  • Bad air compressor
  • Bad blower
  • Bad run capacitor
  • Bent fan blades
  • Dirty, missing, or clogged air filter
  • Dirty condenser coils
  • Failing fan motor
  • Refrigerant leak

Whenever you notice unusual noises coming from your AC, it’s a good idea to consult a local HVAC professional. This expert can help pinpoint the exact issue and recommend the best course of action to fix it. 

Types of Air Conditioner Sounds and How to Fix Them

While it’s common to hear your air conditioner hum quietly when it’s on, you should pay special attention when those sounds become unusual or get significantly louder. Air conditioner sounds can be your unit’s way of telling you that something is wrong. Here’s a list of common air conditioner sounds and how to address them.

1. Loud Noises

There are several reasons why your air conditioner might emit a loud sound when it runs. It could have dirty condenser finds or damaged air ducts, or maybe the unit is too big for your home or too old and needs a replacement.

The best way to prevent issues with your unit is to schedule regular maintenance checks and tune-ups. Routine inspections give the technician time to address potential problems before they progress. This is the best way to extend your air conditioner’s lifespan. An air conditioner is a big investment, so you want to do everything you can to take good care of it.

2. Buzzing

When you switch your air conditioner on, you may not notice a buzzing sound inside, but it can be louder and more noticeable in the outdoor unit. This buzzing noise could come from several components, including the contactor relay switch, condenser fan motor, circuit breakers, or damage to the isolation feet that prevent vibrations.

One important thing to remember is that buzzing noises often indicate electrical issues. A buzzing noise occurs when electricity jumps between circuitry, particularly with older air conditioners. While your AC may seem functional inside, overlooking this noise can be hazardous and could lead to an electrical fire.

3. Banging

A banging noise from an outdoor or indoor air conditioner unit usually indicates that the unit has loose parts. This can be due to the fan blades in the indoor blower or issues inside the compressor, like a loose connector rod or piston pin. You want to consult a professional to address this air conditioner noise. Continuing to run your AC with loose components can worsen the problem, leading to higher repair costs. You can usually reset loose fan blades, but internal compressor problems may require a full compressor replacement. 

air conditioner noise

4. Screeching

If your air conditioner sounds include screeching, a malfunctioning fan motor in your outdoor unit could be the root cause, or possibly an indoor blower fan motor. This sound may also hint that your unit’s compressor is under dangerously high pressure, or you have issues like a faulty fan belt or damaged bearings. When you hear these noises, switch off your unit and contact your local HVAC company.

5. Hissing or Bubbling

Hissing or bubbling sounds may be the result of a severe issue. Such sounds often indicate that you have a refrigerant leak, which plays a vital role in cooling your unit. A refrigerant leak isn’t just an efficiency issue; it can also be a health hazard.

If you think you have a leak in your air conditioner, you must act quickly and contact a professional. A few common reasons your unit could leak include the following:

  • Damaged lines
  • Faulty flare connections
  • Holes in a capillary tube
  • Leaking coils (both indoor and outdoor)
  • Leaking Schrader valve
  • Rusted filter dryer
  • Rusted heat pump accumulator

6. Rattling

If your unit makes a rattling noise, this indicates that you have loose components like cover plates, fan blades, or screws. External debris, like sticks or leaves, can also end up trapped in your system, especially if you haven’t scheduled a routine maintenance visit or cleaned it in a while. You can attempt to clear out visible debris and look for loose parts, but you shouldn’t ignore these noises. Persistent rattling can mean your system is starting to break down, so if you’re not sure or if the noise doesn’t quit, contact a local HVAC professional to perform an inspection.

7. Clicking

It’s not normal to hear continuous clicking sounds from your air conditioner. You may hear brief clicks when it starts, which is normal. However, persistent noise can indicate you have capacitor issues or a faulty thermostat. Addressing these clicking sounds early can prevent you from facing expensive repairs. If you notice your AC making noise when it starts up, contact a professional for an inspection.

8. Humming

A humming noise could mean that you have a faulty contactor relay switch or a malfunctioning capacitor, which starts the motor. Refrigerant piping vibrations, loose parts, and electrical issues like loose wiring can also cause these noises. While humming may not be a severe issue, it’s a sign that you should pay attention to your unit. Scheduling regular maintenance check ups with professionals will help you diagnose and fix these problems.

Call Maitz Home Services for Reliable AC Repairs

Is your air conditioner making dreaded noises or not performing as it used to? Don’t let these issues disrupt your home’s comfort. Maitz Home Services is here for all your AC repair and replacement needs. Your comfort is in the best hands with our expert technicians. Don’t delay; ensure a cooler, more comfortable home today by scheduling your next service visit.