10 Most Common AC Noises and What They Mean

Woman using a remote to adjust an air conditioning unit from a couch.

If you’ve ever been awakened in the middle of the night by a loud noise coming from your air conditioning  unit, you are not alone. Air conditioner noises are common and can be caused by a variety of factors. In this blog post, we will discuss the 10 most common AC noises and what they mean. By understanding these noises, you will be able to troubleshoot them and get your AC unit back up and running quickly!


Clanking Noise

Each time your air conditioning unit starts producing a clunking sound, the motor or the blower assembly could be a possible problem. It could also be that the outdoor fan blades or the indoor blowers are out of shape or uneven. This annoying noise could also signify that some components inside the compressor are loose-fitting. Never take this sound for granted. Switch off the unit and schedule an appointment with a reliable appliance repair company immediately. In doing so, you can prevent the problem from getting worse.  

Banging Noise

If the compressor of your AC unit is making a banging sound, perhaps there is an unfastened or damaged component in the compressor itself. Hearing a noise coming from outside your air conditioner, like banging, usually means that your system is experiencing wear and tear. This causes the compressor components to become wobbly, bang, or rattle. The unfastened or damaged part might be a piston pin, a support screw, a spring, or a crankshaft. 

This banging sound can only be fixed by calling a professional appliance repair company to fasten or replace the broken or loose components. Replacing the whole compressor may be needed if that doesn’t solve the problem. 

Screeching Sounds

When your AC produces a sound like grinding on metal, this can be caused by one of many problems. The issue usually lies in the area where you hear it. 

If the noise comes from outside the AC, it can be because of a bad compressor or a defective fan motor. Meanwhile, if it comes from the inside of the unit, then the issue might be the blower fan motor. This part is accountable for drawing in the air in your house to be cooled and returned. In due course, the fan motor bearing can give out, or the fan belt can be damaged, causing an annoying screeching noise. 

Buzzing Sounds

If your air conditioning is frozen, it will produce a buzzing noise once you switch it on. One primary reason for ice to build up inside the unit is when you forget to change the air filters as often as possible. Once these filters become caked with dirt and dust, they obstruct the proper flow of air. Thus, the condensation from the dampness inside your house freezes on coils inside the air conditioner. This leads to the formation of ice layers, which then causes water leaks, high power bills, and buzzing noise. 

Humming Noises

Humming sounds usually happen due to a broken contactor relay switch. This component is intended to kick off the outdoor condenser system once it gets a signal from the thermostat. Sadly, you can’t switch on your AC until a professional air conditioning repair company checks this problem. Don’t disregard electrical issues in your AC. This causes serious damage to the central air conditioning unit, which eventually leads to costly repairs. 

Bubbling Sounds

The AC connected to your home might produce bubbling sounds because of too much wetness. This issue may be generated by a crack, hole, or blockage in the drainage pipe. It is simple to disassemble your AC to check the drainage pipe. However, replacing the drainage pipe on your own is not recommended, especially if you don’t have experience. You will require special equipment, tools, training, and skills to fix this problem. We advise contacting an appliance repair company in Waco, TX to ensure the project is done safely and correctly. 

Pulsating Sounds

Don’t worry if your air conditioning unit is creating a rhythmic or pulsating thumping sound, as it is not essentially a bad indication. This sound is normal when the AC is working. However, if the outside AC unit produces a loud thumping sound that you can hear even if you are far from your room, it could mean that some parts are loose or wobbly. This can also be a sign of blades and motor issues, but any unstable part or panel could cause a pulsating sound in your system. You can address this issue by refastening any loose parts.

Rattling Noise 

A rattling or chattering noise can mean leaves, twigs, and other outdoor debris have blocked your AC unit. This noise could point out that your AC is beginning to break down, causing wobbly components. 

The electrical contractor in the AC system can also produce a rattling noise that can cause harm to other components of your system, including the compressor, if left unchecked. 

Another contributor to this unpleasant sound is a loose fan. You can address this problem by checking for loose bolts or screws in the AC’s casing, changing the indoor air filters, and cleaning condenser coils. If you don’t have time to do this, calling an air conditioner service Waco, TX, is the best solution. AC maintenance is one of the many air conditioner repair services you can get from a reliable service provider.  

Squealing Noise

This intolerable noise can signal that the compressor of your AC is already broken or damaged. It is the component of the AC that pumps refrigerant through your system. Once you hear this sound, switch off your air conditioner before the damaged part causes more damage to your appliance. 

Clicking Noise

It is normal if your air conditioner produces a clicking sound during the start and end of a cooling cycle. However, ongoing or constant clicking isn’t typical. Once you hear this sound from your appliance, it could indicate any of the following: 

  • Defective electrical signals 
  • Capacitor losing its charge
  • Loose fan 
  • A broken thermostat 
  • Obstruction in the air conditioner fans 

To address an AC fan hindrance, all you need to do is haul up the outdoor cover of the appliance and clean the fans. However, nothing beats the expertise of professionals. So, contact an expert to address the problem. 

To Sum It Up

Do strange AC sounds bother you and your loved ones? Then pay attention to what they are trying to tell you. Though your AC can still work properly when producing a strange sound, taking it for granted can make things worse. 

The team of skilled technicians at On Point Service Company has served Waco, TX residents for many years. Whether your unit is producing an unusual noise, AC is not cooling, AC is not blowing cold air but the house is still hot, or AC is not blowing cold air, we’ve got you covered. Call us now to book an appointment!


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