A Noisy Air Conditioner – Should You Be Worried?

We count on air conditioners to control the air temperatures in our space either at home or in the office. They help filter the air that circulates, remove mold and other air pollutants. This is very important, especially for those who suffer from asthma and allergies. We rely on our air conditioning systems to reduce irritants that may trigger these conditions.

But what if, despite all these benefits, your AC starts to cause bothersome noises? It will surely spoil what would have been a time of relief from an uncomfortable climate. Mainly, many modern air conditioners are designed to perform quietly to maximize comfort using sound-dampening technologies that manage any emanating sound above 55 decibels.  And of course, we want our AC units to stay that way.

So, if you hear mysterious sounds ranging from banging to almost screaming, these sounds are not only annoying and aggravating. We should never ignore them, as they may indicate an existing problem that, if left unchecked, can turn into a costly repair or replacement altogether. 

You should call an AC technician if your unit makes any of the following unusual sounds during normal operation:


An AC that makes a buzzing sound that can be heard either inside or outside typically signifies some sort of electrical malfunctioning in your HVAC unit.  This may be anything from loose or missing components, refrigerant leaks, or a faulty compressor.  It can also mean that the capacitor is broken, or there is a formation of an electric arc that jumps from one connection to another, which causes a literal spark in the wiring.

The components work in unison to provide the preferred temperature in your home, so when one part becomes loose, the functionality of the others is affected.  These parts will then have to exert more effort, thereby making an unpleasant buzzing sound.

It can also be that your AC’s isolation feet where your compressor sits, has some cracks in it, or has disintegrated.  When this part is imbalanced, which creates noise when it is turned on.  Another reason may be that the compressor itself is already malfunctioning. 


When the electrical parts of your AC are clicking either during a startup or shutdown, it may be harmless.  Any forced air cooling or heating can produce sounds from the air that flows in the ductwork, which could very well be a necessary evil.  However, it’s another story when it’s continuously making that sound, as it may mean a busted thermostat or a defect in the control panel.  This would create electric sparks and can cause the switch to turn on and off repeatedly.

A constant clicking noise can also indicate a severe electrical connection issue, especially if the unit cannot be turned on.  In this scenario, the wires may have been shorted, or the capacitor may have failed. Hence the thermostat cannot be adequately interpreted by your AC.

The problem may be minor if the clicking sounds can be heard outside, which would most likely be a loose bolt in the compressor.  The clicks can also be brought on by a loose tubing of the refrigerant such that it hits the frame with vibration, thus, creating that clicking sound.


Banging typically signifies an issue with a worn external casing of the AC compressor.  Whenever a problem originates in this component, it’s likely due for a replacement because it is virtually impossible to repair it with its tight seal that cannot be simply opened up without causing damage on its exterior.

It is essential to turn off your AC as soon as you hear this type of noise coming from the unit.  Although it may entail a quick fix from your technician, ignoring this type of problem can worsen it.


An AC that hisses is often due to a leak in the refrigerant lines, aside from having compressor or expansion valve issues.  Given its pressurized environment in the copper tubing, the escaping refrigerant will produce not only a hissing sound but, at times, a bubbling noise as well.  


The high-pitched, metal-on-metal noise from screeching is the most obtrusive sound that can easily blow anyone’s top off.  This could be the result of a damaged blower motor,  a shot fan motor, or a worn-out fan belt.  It can also be an indicator of a compressor problem, which is never good, as this will mean its replacement, as mentioned earlier.

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Talk to your AC expert at Air Professionals Heating & Air Conditioning today!

Fix your AC noise issues right away, because the sooner it’s done, the better.  Air Professionals Heating & Air Conditioning can help you with everything air conditioner:  minor and comprehensive repairs, routine maintenance, compressor problems, you name it, we’ll come up with the most efficient solution for it.  

Call us and any of our friendly AC pros will be more than happy to provide you with information and advice. – (908) 284-2422

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