An outdoor air conditioning unit with the words, "why is my air conditioner being noisy?"

There are already enough stories of things that go bump in the night if you’re in the mood for a tale of horror. Your air conditioner doesn’t have to be one of them. If your air conditioner has taken to making noises it shouldn’t, it is probably trying to tell you something. Read on to find out what it could be.

Banging

A loose or broken part within your air conditioning unit’s compressor may be the culprit if you hear banging. The offending part could be the connecting rod, piston, or crankshaft. This noise could also be a sign that the indoor blower is unbalanced or that the entire compressor system needs to be replaced. The latter explanation would generally be most likely for older units.

Clanking

Clanking sounds can be another sign of a loose part. The compressor may have become loose, or the indoor or outdoor blower’s fan blades may have become unbalanced and started hitting other parts. Clanking sounds warrant an immediate inspection as leaving the issue alone can lead to part failures or the entire air conditioning system failing.

Clicking

Clicking is normal when it comes to the start-up and shutdown of your air conditioning system due to the electrical components coming on. Constant clicking, however, could be a sign of a defective thermostat. It could also be a sign that some other electrical parts of the air conditioner are beginning to fail. It is important to get these checked out as soon as possible, especially since there are many electrical components that could be the culprit and it may take time to correctly identify the problem.

Buzzing

Buzzing from your unit can mean a number of different things:

  • Loose parts
  • Debris is lodged in either the outdoor or indoor unit
  • The outdoor fan motor is loose or is about to fall
  • Fan blades are out of balance
  • The copper lines from the outside to the inside of the unit are rubbing against something
  • The condenser coils need to be cleaned
  • The air filter needs to be changed
  • The blower is going bad or out of balance

Refrigerant leaks

Refrigerant leaks can cause the air conditioning unit to freeze up, so it is important to resolve this issue quickly to prevent unit failure. Refrigerant leaks will typically also be accompanied by leaking, excess moisture on the unit, and a lack of cool air.

Squealing

Squeaking and squealing sounds can be heard throughout the duct system. Outdoor fan motors or indoor blower motors tend to squeal loudly when they’re going bad, so it might be time to replace these parts. Additionally, the blower wheel and housing could be the reason for the sound as they also squeal when they malfunction.

Humming

Humming isn’t normally too much cause for concern but if it sounds abnormal,  it can be a sign that something is off. For instance, it could be a sign that the refrigerant piping is loose and vibrating or that the older electrical parts are beginning to go bad. If the compressor is the part that is humming and it refuses to start, it is highly possible that there is a problem with the motor or that the wiring is loose. Whatever the case, it is important to get this sound checked out just to make sure the issue doesn’t worsen.

Rattling

Rattling sounds usually indicate that your air conditioning unit is reaching the end of its life. It may not necessarily be your unit’s death rattle, though. Lesser issues such as twigs or leaves clogging the outdoor unit or loose parts may be the correct explanation. There might also be an issue with the electrical contractor of the compressor, or even just loose bolts or screws in the unit’s casing. A thorough inspection is the only way to be certain what the issue is.

Screeching or Whistling

If you hear high-pitched whistling or screaming, it is extremely important that you call an HVAC technician right away. This could be the sign of a refrigerant leak or high internal pressure within the compressor. The latter condition can lead to the compressor exploding in some cases. For extreme issues like this, the sensor in your unit should cause the air conditioning unit to turn off on its own.

If You Hear Anything Unsettling

When it comes to your air conditioning unit, the best policy to follow is that if you hear something, say something. Saying something about your concerns to our team of experts at Comfort Masters Heating & Air Conditioning could be the difference between a peaceful night’s rest and having to worry about your air conditioner going bump in the night. Make sure to call us today so that you can maintain a cool head and a cool home!