Is your air conditioner making pulsating noises? Perhaps it’s making noise when off? Or maybe you’re just wondering, “why is my AC so loud?” Banging, buzzing, squealing, hissing, and clicking — these are some of the most common air conditioner sounds that you may suddenly start to hear coming from your system. A noisy air conditioner isn’t just annoying, it can be concerning.
Ignoring unusual air conditioner noise can allow minor issues to develop into significant expenses. If your AC is making noise, it could be a sign that it needs a tune-up, repairs, or even replacing. Therefore, the sooner you determine why your air conditioner is making noise, the better.
In this post, we’ll discuss some everyday AC noises and what they mean, provide some information on how to fix these problems, and share the signs that indicate your AC unit needs replacing.
Different Noises an AC Makes and What They Mean
Wondering what those air conditioner sounds mean? Whether your air conditioning making a loud buzzing noise or your AC system is gurgling when it’s switched on, there are multiple reasons for your AC making noise.
Different noises correspond to various components. Here are some noises air conditioners make when they have certain problems:
When your AC is making noise, banging can be a sign of a loose or broken part. This could be a piston pin, connecting rod, or crankshaft that has made its way into the AC compressor. Alternatively, banging noises could be a sign that your compressor is failing.
Clicking sounds when your AC unit powers up or shuts down can be perfectly normal. However, constant clicking is unusual and could be a sign that the thermostat is failing. There are many electrical components inside an AC unit, so it’s vital to pay attention to clicking noises as these could signify considerable problems.
The blower and fan inside your AC can create noises such as rattles, squeals, and squeaks. Indoor blower motors and outdoor fan motors also squeal when they are deteriorating. Additionally, the blower wheel will squeal if it’s malfunctioning.
With some AC units, these sounds are a regular part of powering up. However, if your AC starts to squeal mid-flow, it’s worth seeking professional advice.
Clanking can be a sign of out-of-balance or lose parts. If your AC is making a clanking noise, some parts could have failed or the compressor may be loose. A clanking sound can also happen when the outdoor fan and its blades are out of sync. This is something that should be repaired as soon as possible, as these kinds of problems only get worse over time.
Humming sounds coming from your AC unit are generally not very serious. Refrigerant piping and any loose parts will vibrate, which can create a humming sound. Additionally, buzzing/humming noises could signal an electrical problem. Either way, it helps to get your AC inspected and repaired by a professional for peace of mind and safety.
AC Making Noise? How to Fix It
If your AC is making a loud noise, there could be something seriously wrong with the unit. Therefore, we recommend that you contact a professional to diagnose the problem and fix the AC issue.
For minor issues, here are a few things you or your AC repair technician can do to try and stop your AC from making noise.
Tighten any Loose Screws
The vibration when your AC is running can cause screws around the unit to loosen. This can cause a rattling noise and lead to important components loosening over time. We recommend having all the screws tightened during a routine tune-up to avoid unwanted noise and potential damage.
Clear any Debris Caught in the AC Blades
Again, when your technician comes to tune up your AC unit, ask them to remove any debris that has collected around the blades. This helps to prevent and eliminate clanging or banging noises coming from your AC unit as it powers up.
Straighten and Clean Coil Fins
Maintaining the coil fins inside your unit can increase its efficiency. Ask your technician to straighten the coil fins with a fin comb and clean any lingering debris with a portable vacuum.
How Long Do AC Systems Last?
Regardless of your AC making noise, air conditioning units tend to last 10-15 years. Heating systems can last slightly longer, averaging 15-20 years, if they are well-maintained. If you start to notice your cooling system working less efficiently and the temperature in your home fluctuating, it might be a sign that your AC needs servicing, or could be on its way out.
Home Warranty Coverage for Air Conditioning
Here at First American Home Warranty, we can help protect your budget from expensive AC repair and replacement costs with our home warranty plans. When you have our AC home warranty coverage, you’ll also have a simple solution when your air conditioning system breaks. Get a free home warranty quote today.
Resources to Help Keep Your AC System Maintained
- Air Conditioner Tune Up Guide
- How to Change the Air Filter in Your HVAC System
- Fall Maintenance for Your Air Conditioner
- Spring Maintenance for Your Air Conditioner
- How Does AC Work?
The contents of this article are provided for general guidance only. First American Home Warranty does not assume any responsibility for losses or damages as a result of using this information.