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Help! My Air Conditioner is Making a Funny Noise!

Screaming in bed

When operating properly, your air conditioner runs nice and quietly. Beyond a little bit of low noise when cooling cycles start and stop, you probably won’t even notice it’s running unless you’re outdoors by the exterior condenser unit. If your air conditioner starts running loudly or is making unusual noises, this is a sign you may need an air conditioner repair or replacement. Energy Savers’ licensed HVAC technicians in Georgia and Alabama are available to perform the skilled work you need to keep cool this summer.

Was That My Air Conditioner?

Unexpected and sudden noises coming from your air conditioner is a sign something is wrong with your system. Yes, air conditioners do make some noise while operating, but this should be the gentle hum you’re used to hearing daily. Sudden air conditioner noise indicates a problem when it hasn’t been happening before. Air conditioner repair or replacement may be needed, depending on the cause of your cooling system noise.

Common Air Conditioner Noises & What They Mean

There are some common noises that indicate trouble with an air conditioner. This summer, keep an ear out for these air conditioner noises so you can have your system inspected and issues corrected at the first sign of trouble.

  • Rattling: A rattling noise while your air conditioner is running can be very loud and disruptive. One common cause of rattling in air conditioners is debris stuck within the protective grate of the outdoor condenser unit. Check the unit to ensure no twigs, rocks or other debris are trapped – if they are, turn off power to the unit to safely remove the debris to see if this resolves the noise you hear. If the debris has caused visible damage to your unit, call for repair.

    Rattling may appear to be coming from the interior of your unit, or within your home. Loose air ducts can cause rattling as air passes through, and it can be caused by issues with interior cooling system components that should be diagnosed by an HVAC technician.
  • Clanking: A clanking noise when your cooling unit is operating is typically a sign of loose components within your air handler or condenser. The issue may stem from the blower motor, fan blades, compressor or other components, and should be assessed by an HVAC technician.
  • Grinding: A grinding noise may be heard upon a cycle startup, end or during operation. This may indicate a problem with your blower motor bearings, housed in the air handler, which moves cooled air into your home. During preventative maintenance tune-ups, motor bearings are lubricated to prevent this – if you skip maintenance for your air conditioner, this noise may arise.
  • Clicking: A clicking noise is normal when the system starts and stops, but it should not continue through the cooling cycle. Clicking noises can indicate problems with controls or thermostats, which may require repair or a replacement to correct the issue.

What to Do If Your Air Conditioner Makes Unexpected Noises

If your air conditioner begins to make an unusual noise while starting, stopping or operating a cooling cycle, shut the system off and call Energy Savers for service. Depending on the cause of the unexpected noise, your air conditioning unit could be damaged severely if you continue to operate the system without having the noise checked out and the source repaired.
When your air conditioner starts making funny noises, do not wait to call Energy Savers for repair. We will assess your cooling system and perform the repairs or replacement needed to keep your home comfortable. Contact us now if your AC unit is experiencing strange operating noises.