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Weird Noises from Your Air Conditioner? Here’s How to Fix Them

Overview: An air conditioner is one of our favorite home appliances…  when it’s working normally. But what if it starts making weird noises? Let’s take a look at what those noises might mean and how to fix them. 

We love our air conditioners. We could live without them, but we’d be a lot less comfortable. Most people don’t mind when their air conditioners produce innocuous noises as they run… but if you have an air conditioner that starts whistling at you for no reason at all, it’s reasonable to conclude that that’s not normal!

If you’re hearing noises reminiscent of a cartoon or a game show, you probably have a problem on your hands. Every part of your air conditioner works together to keep your space cool in warm temperatures, so if one part comes loose or wears out, it will put more stress on the other parts. So when those noises start happening, you’ll want to
address them as soon as possible to avoid a more serious problem down the line.

Typical Air Conditioner Noise:

Before you go out to find an ailment for your AC, be attentive to the type of sound your air conditioner is making. First, you should be certain this is not a noise you’ve heard it make before. Then, listen closely — there are a few different types of noises air conditioners make depending on the issues occurring.

Related Reading: How to fix air conditioner noises 

 Banging Noises:

If your air conditioner makes a banging noise, it indicates a compressor problem. This component is usually engineered to distribute refrigerant to various parts of the HVAC system and helps remove excess heat from your house. As your central air conditioning system reaches the middle or the end of its life span, it’s not uncommon for parts to become loose inside the compressor.

How to fix it: Once the parts become unfastened in the compressor, you’ll start noticing a banging noise whenever you activate your air conditioner. The sound is caused due to the separate components hitting against the compressor’s exterior frame. Since the compressor isn’t engineered to be easily disassembled, you’ll need to invest in a new energy-efficient air conditioner. However, wait to make an immediate decision — call a
local HVAC technician in your area to receive assistance and reach a conclusion.

Unusual Humming Sound:

You may notice a strange humming sound inside your air conditioner. If it’s louder or distinctly different than the normal hum the unit produces while it’s running, it may need attention. Don’t panic; it’s not a ghost – but the reason could be a defective contractor relay switch. This component is specifically designed to start the outdoor condenser
unit when it receives a signal from the thermostat.

How to fix it: Unfortunately, you should avoid turning on your air conditioner until this issue is inspected and dealt with by a professional. Don’t ignore electric problems in your central air conditioning system. They can cause severe damage over time – which will lead to expensive repairs in the future.

Buzzing Sound:

Be attentive to a buzzing noise from your central air conditioning system. Unless you live with a beekeeper, this sound may be a sign of loose or unbalanced fan blades in your outdoor condenser unit. The usual reason behind the buzzing sound is a faulty outdoor fan motor, flexible components, or dirty condenser coils. It may also be a sign
of an obstruction near the copper lines connected to your air conditioner.

How to fix this: The culprit could also be a refrigerant leak, and we recommend paying attention to the buzzing sound. Be proactive and hire a technician for an air conditioner tune-up.

Clicking Sound:

While a clicking noise may sound normal at the beginning or end of your cooling cycles, a continuous clicking sound from your air conditioner isn’t typical. This might be an indicator of a malfunctioning thermostat.

How to fix this: To deal with thermostat malfunction, you’ll need to install a new thermostat. If you’re exceptionally handy or a DIY type, you just might be able to do this yourself. If not, it’s best to call a licensed contractor in your area to receive help.

Rattling Sound:

In the best-case scenario, your air conditioner starts rattling due to loose sticks, dirt, or  leaves in your outdoor condenser unit. In the worst-case scenario, this rattling sound may be caused by a broken motor.

How to fix this: If there’s no obvious sign of easily-removable debris at first glance, the problem may require the disassembly of the AC unit for a closer look. If that’s the case… you guessed it! The smartest thing to do is call an experienced technician to take a look.

In Summary:

Thank goodness air conditioners exist. They’re one of our favorite modern conveniences! But when they start making weird noises, it’s best to address the issue right away.

You may have noticed a recurring theme here: If your air conditioning system is acting up, the smart thing to do is to contact an experienced technician. When you need to take care of those bangs, hums, buzzes, clicks, or rattles, contact our sister company NIR Air Conditioning and Heating and avoid an AC headache!