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Why is My Air Conditioner Making a Noise?

March 20, 2021 | Blog

Air conditioner units are typically quiet and designed to be that way. When a new noise or sound starts emanating from your system, you should take note of it and get it solved as soon as possible. The longer you wait to take care of noise in the system, the more damage is likely to occur.

Take note of some of the different kinds of noises to see how necessary it is to call a technician or if there is no cause for alarm.

Normal Noises: 


A slight humming noise when your system turns on or off is fine. This is the sound of the air starting to move throughout your system. If this sound continues longer than the normal shut-off/on period, there might be something loose within the electrical part of the unit.


A blowing sound is simply the sound of air in motion. This sound is typically very quiet and should be lost in the background noise of your home.


A short, clicking noise is the signal of the system turning on or off. This noise should only be a short-lived sound and acts as the indicator of your system coming to life or going to sleep.

Abnormal Noises:


Buzzing can mean a number of different problems that are occurring within your AC unit. One of the most common causes of buzzing is when there is a refrigerant leak or loose parts are free within your unit. These issues may be accompanied by a screeching or banging noise, or it can just be a low buzzing sound.

Regardless of it being accompanied by another sound or not, call a technician as soon as possible to uncover what is going on within your unit specifically.

Banging or Clanking

Repeated banging can mean that there is a loose part in your unit and should be addressed immediately. This sound is typically a warning that the part will become fully dislodged and can cause further damage. Turn off your unit, and call a technician immediately.

Squealing, Screeching or Screaming

Any kind of “screaming” noise indicates a refrigerant leak within your AC unit. Shut the unit off immediately and call a professional. These kinds of leaks can cause internal damage to your unit and also to your family’s health. Screaming may also indicate that there is high pressure within your AC’s compressor, which is very dangerous, as well.

If your unit shuts off automatically before you can manually turn it off, the pressure sensor is doing its job to protect the unit.


This means there is a loose seal within your unit, most likely within its ducts. This is a low-concern issue and a quick fix by a technician.

Things to Keep in Mind:

A noisy air conditioner is not dangerous, but it serves as an indicator that something might be wrong inside it. If you hear a noise that you’ve never heard before coming from your AC unit, give a technician a call. This could be something that can cause further damage down the line if it is not addressed, and they can help uncover what is causing the noise.

If your air conditioner is still making an unusual sound, contact Ball Heating and Air Conditioning. We can help discover the cause and return your system to a normal quiet.

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