Why Is My AC Making a Loud Noise?


Having an AC unit in your home is pretty much the gold standard today, especially if you live in a tropical climate. If you do, then you know you might need one just to survive the day. AC units are generally quiet when you first buy them, but after some wear and tear, they can begin producing strange noises. Is your ac AC making a loud noise? Then read on to see what the possible causes could be.

Before you decide to contact the AC repair service, you can save yourself the bill for diagnostics by learning to diagnose the AC noise yourself. The AC noise is generally divided into seven types, based on the sound it makes, and they are as follows:

  • Buzzing Noise
  • Humming
  • Rattling
  • Clanking (banging)
  • Squealing
  • Pulsating
  • Gurgling (water noise)

Furthermore, the diagnostics depend on whether it is your outdoor (condenser) or indoor (air handler) unit that is producing the noise. Read on to learn about every possibility in detail, for it may save you a lot of time and money…

When is the Noise Considered too Loud?

The loudness level of the racket may confuse some people and cause them to have dilemmas about whether or not it’s the time for repairs or the AC has some more juice in it. If you start asking yourself the following question:

Why is my air conditioner making a loud noise? – This means it is too loud and it is time to diagnose the problem and respond appropriately. Differentiating between the different noises is easy and the sounds are described as follows:

Buzzing Noise

The buzzing sound can come from both the outdoor and the indoor unit of your air conditioner. It is a sign that you have a problem with electrical nature. Your motor could be failing, there could be some loose wiring, the capacitor may be broken, you may have a malfunctioning compressor, or you may even see sparks arcing.

This is obviously a very serious and potentially very dangerous problem. You should turn off your loud air conditioner at once with your remote, taking care not to touch it, and call the repair service immediately for preventing a potential disaster.

Humming Noise

If your air conditioner making noise is best described as hearing a humming sound, this may indicate that you have a problem with your capacitor. It may not be completely broken, like when you hear the buzzing, but it may very well be almost there.

Or, at the very least, it may have some difficulty in working properly due to several reasons, one of which can again be loose wiring. Again, just to make sure, you can contact the licensed service for proper diagnostics.

Rattling Noise

This one is quite simple to detect and diagnose, even for a layman. If your AC is producing a rattling sound, like something inside of it is lose and moving that should otherwise not be, then this is probably the case. Turn it off immediately and first check to see if you can see if there is an object inside loose.

A component might be dislocated or loose, which means again that there is no way around paying the repairmen. But, if you are in luck, this might be something else stuck in there, like maybe branches or small animals get stuck in the outdoor unit. An air conditioner making noise when off is probably a sign of the latter.

Clanking (banging) Noise

This type of noise can almost exclusively come from the outdoor part of the unit. If a loud air conditioner is producing a banging or clanking sound, this points to problems with the compressor. It is the component that cools the air by circulating the liquid refrigerant.

Over time, the inner parts can become loose and create clanking due to liquid circulation. This part is rarely ever repaired and it is usually replaced entirely.

Squealing Noise

A squealing or screeching sound, described as metal grinding metal, indicates one of three possible things:

If it’s your outdoor unit, the fan motor might be faulty or the belt connecting it to the blower may have slipped off.

Also, again if it’s outside, it can mean that the motor inside the compressor is done

If it’s from the indoor unit, it’s blower fan motor might be in trouble

Pulsating Noise

Air Conditioner making pulsating noise is normal to some degree. But, if your outdoor unit is making it and you again catch yourself wondering “Why is my air conditioner making a weird noise?” it should probably be inspected.

Gurgling (water) Noise

This can only mean one thing – a problem with the refrigerant lines. This might mean there is a little bit of air getting into the lines, which should not happen, meaning they are not adequately sealed. This is one of the more common problems and it is not considered urgent, but if you ignore it for long enough, it will get worse.

Final World

If your HVAC unit is still under warranty protection, you should contact the licensed service repair whenever you hear any of these noises, even if you are not sure they are loud enough. If your warranty expired, you could first check to see if you have the right idea. But, if it’s run out, it probably means your AC unit is a couple of years old, which sadly means it needs to be looked at by a professional.

Author’s Bio

James Watson is a part of the Content and Marketing team at Eliteheatingandac.com.

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