Seven Air Conditioner Noises Explained

Listen closely … do you hear it? Your home’s air conditioner is trying to tell you something. If you learn what different AC noises could mean, you stand a much better chance of catching problems with simple solutions before they become major headaches with a hefty air conditioning repair or replacement cost. That’s why Simons Heating & Cooling wants to share seven common air conditioner noises that every homeowner in Queensbury, NY, should be aware of. We’ll talk about what these sounds can mean and how repairs are completed.

Air Conditioner Is Making a Humming Noise

There are a few reasons why your air conditioner is making a humming noise. One possible cause is that the fan motor is malfunctioning or needs lubrication. Another possible cause could be an issue with the compressor, such as a clog or a faulty motor.

If the noise is coming from the fan motor and it is not lubricated, we’ll try lubricating the fan motor with a few drops of oil. If the noise continues, we’ll launch into a full checkup to diagnose and fix the issue.

But if the noise is coming from the compressor, it’s best to turn off the unit then and there before calling us to help. Attempting to fix a compressor issue on your own can be dangerous and may cause further damage to the unit. Fortunately, if you have an air conditioning maintenance plan, your service technicians will look for (and likely catch) issues like this.

Air Conditioner Is Making a Gurgling Noise

A gurgling noise from an air conditioner sometimes indicates there’s air or water trapped inside. One possible cause is a clogged condensate drain. The drainage is responsible for removing any condensation that forms during the cooling process. As long as the drain is clogged, the water will back up and create the gurgling noise. Cleaning the condensate drain should resolve the issue, but let us know if it doesn’t.

However, another possible cause of the gurgling noise is low refrigerant levels. If the refrigerant is low, the compressor may have to work harder to maintain your set temperatures. This issue is best resolved by local professionals like Simons Heating & Cooling.

Air Conditioner Is Making a Buzzing Noise

A buzzing noise from an air conditioner can point to a few different issues. Similar to the humming sounds, buzzing often starts with a fan motor that’s malfunctioning or in need of lubrication. Another cause could be a loose or damaged fan blade.

You can try to lubricate the fan motor with a few drops of oil if the noise is coming from the fan motor. If the noise continues, it may be an electrical connection. Simons technicians know just where to look to find the disconnect.

Air Conditioner Is Making a Hissing Noise

Hissing sounds are often related to the refrigerant lines. These problems typically start as a leak or a restriction in the flow of refrigerant within the AC unit.

One possible cause of the hissing noise is a refrigerant leak. The sound is actually air escaping between the minor crack in the coolant lines. This issue requires professional experience, as leaks are under pressure. If you suspect the refrigerant lines have been damaged, it is important to turn everything off and call Simons.

Air Conditioner Is Making a Whistling Noise

A whistling noise from an air conditioner will sometimes trace back to an issue with your air ducts. The whistling noise is usually caused by air escaping through a hole caused by age, wear and tear or accidental damage. Replacing a section of ductwork can be an in-depth process, it may be best to call a professional versus risking damage to other ducts or the property itself.

Rather than damage, other whistling sounds start with a poorly sealed joint in the air ducts. If the whistling noise is caused by a poorly sealed joint, you can try to seal the joint with duct mastic or metal-backed tape. Unsure how to make a firm seal? There are videos on YouTube that you can watch to help you through the process, or you can just call Simons Heating & Cooling!

Air Conditioner Is Making a Clicking Noise

Clicking coming from an air conditioner can be tough to crack at first because it could be caused by a wide variety of issues, including:

  • A problem with the thermostat: If the thermostat suffers a software failure, it could make a clicking noise as it turns on and off.
  • A problem with the compressor: The compressor quietly pumps refrigerant through the system. When it starts making noise, it’s time to investigate.
  • A problem with the fan: Damage to the fan or its electrical components can produce clicking as it tries and fails to keep working.
  • A problem with the ductwork: When the ductwork is clogged or damaged, clicking sounds may be the result of air trying to squeeze past.

There are so many potential problems associated with a clicking sound, so your best choice for a fast resolution is to contact a professional HVAC technician for diagnosis and repair. We’ll be happy to address the root cause before getting it back up to speed.

Air Conditioner Is Making a Squeaky Noise

A squeaky air conditioner could be caused by a lack of lubrication on the fan blades, or because they’re grinding against something. You may be able to find out why if you check the fan blades to make sure they’re clean. Sometimes a squeak can be fixed just by giving the fan a good cleaning.

But when the blades appear to be in good condition, an experienced pro like our technicians can help you find and take care of the problem.

Simons Helps Maintain Quiet Cooling, So Call Today

When an air conditioner is installed properly, most of the noise it makes is a low hum during the cooling cycle. So when an air conditioner starts making loud or unusual sounds (or others not mentioned), you’ll probably notice pretty quickly. Waiting for the noise to go away on its own can lead to more problems and a higher investment in the necessary repairs.

Fortunately, you have access to the expertise of Simons Heating and Cooling. To request a free appointment for air conditioner repair in Queensbury, NY, call (518) 839-2602 today.