Why is My Air Conditioner Making That Noise?

In the summertime, the majority of Americans rely on their residential AC units to keep their homes cool and comfortable. Even though residential air conditioning costs more than $11 billion per year for consumers, we still see this means of temperature control as a necessity. So when your home cooling system starts acting up, it’s understandable that you might start to panic. Alternatively, you could be in complete denial that anything’s amiss. After all, who wants to spend the summer being stressed about the state of their AC? But if you hear one of these strange sounds, you’ll definitely want to pay attention — and place a call to your local HVAC services to have the issue checked out.

  • Clanking or Banging: When air conditioners emanate a banging or clanking sound, it typically means there’s a part that’s loose or broken inside. It’s also possible that a blower component is out of balance or that you need to replace your compressor. If you have an outdoor unit, your external fan blades might be coming into contact with some sort of obstruction. It’s a good idea to turn your unit off and contact HVAC services before continuing to run your air conditioner.
  • Buzzing: In some other scenarios, generating a buzz can be seen as a good thing. But when it comes to your air conditioner, it’s a bad sign. A buzzing sound could indicate a number of possible scenarios. For example, it could mean there’s debris trapped inside the unit or that the fan motor is loose. It might also point to a necessary condenser coil replacement or air filter change. Loose parts, unbalanced fan blades, or refrigerant leaks are all possibilities, too. Since there are so many potential root causes, you’ll want to discontinue the use of your unit and call an HVAC services technician to get it sorted out for good.
  • Screeching or Squealing: If someone lets out a screech, you’ll know to pay attention for signs of danger. The same goes for your air conditioner. A squeal or a screech could be caused by a bad fan motor or blower motor, as well as a malfunctioning blower wheel. A high-pitched screaming noise could also indicate that your compressor needs to be looked at. Since no one wants to run their air conditioner when this noise accompanies the cool air, you’ll probably want to shut it down and contact a professional. If the screaming is caused by a coolant leak, you should definitely power down your unit to prevent any accidents.

When your air conditioning unit is operating normally, you shouldn’t hear much at all. If you do observe any of these noises — or others that you can’t identify — you should make it a point to get your unit serviced before summer goes into full swing. Otherwise, you could be stuck without cool air on the hottest day of the year. For more information or to schedule an appointment, please contact us today.