Why Is My AC Making Noise and What Does It Mean?

Today, modern air conditioners operate in the background, without attracting too much attention. The high-efficiency systems installed in homes today feature two-stage variable heat compressor technology and sound reduction to keep noise levels below 55 decibels.

Owning this type of unit means you probably don’t even notice it running after a while. However, if you start noticing the AC making noise you never heard before, there may be a problem.

If you start hearing AC noises that are new, louder than usual, or just strange, it’s best not to ignore them. It’s a sign of a potential problem with your residential AC system.

At this point, you can make a call to the professionals to learn more about the problem; however, it may also be beneficial to know some of the possible causes of these sounds. Keep reading to find out what may be causing the new noises you hear.

Squealing Sounds

Have you noticed your unit making a high-pitched squealing sound? If so, the problem is likely related to a belt.

For example, the issue could be the belt that connects the blower and motor has slipped. Another issue could be with the bearings on the condenser fan’s motor.

Newer AC systems don’t use belt systems. However, if you have an older unit and begin noticing these types of odd AC noises, the belt is likely the culprit.

Also, if this is the problem, you will hear the screeching sound inside and outside your home. Eliminate the sound by replacing the belt.

The issue is likely with the bearings on the condenser fan’s motor for newer units. The units installed today use direct-drive motors. These don’t use belts for operation.

The motor pulls air across the condenser coils, located in the compressor. When squealing occurs, the motor may need replacing to fix the issue.

Regardless of the type of unit you have, it is best to call for residential AC Repair as soon as you hear the sound.

Banging Sounds

Have you noticed a banging noise coming from your AC unit? If so, it indicates a problem with the unit’s compressor.

The compressor sends refrigerant to different parts of your HVAC system and removes all excess heat from the air in your home.

As your AC unit reaches the middle or even the end of its lifespan, it is not uncommon for parts inside the compressor to become loose.

After the parts are unfastened, you may start to notice a rattling sound when the unit turns on. This is caused by the loosened parts hitting the exterior frame of the compressor.

Because compressors aren’t designed to be taken apart, buying an entirely new unit may be necessary. HVAC repair may not be enough to fix the issue in these situations.

Clicking Sounds

When your unit turns on or off, it isn’t unusual to hear clicking noises. However, it’s not normal to hear them during the duration of the cycle.

If you notice frequent or ongoing clicking when your unit comes on, it could be a sign of a defective control or a failing thermostat. Usually, these problems are caused by electrical issues.

Failing to address these problems right away may result in more expensive or dangerous issues. Because of this, you should call a professional right away if you notice clicking sounds from your unit.

Buzzing Sounds

If you notice loud buzzing sounds coming from your AC unit, there’s a good sign it has begun to malfunction. Usually, the issue is broken or isolation feet, a malfunctioning compressor, loose parts, or refrigerant leaks.

Every part of your AC works with the others to help keep your home cool during warmer temperatures. If one part is loose, it stresses the other parts.

After the additional wear puts enough stress on the parts, your unit may begin to make a buzzing sound that indicates repairs are needed.

Your unit’s compressor sits on “isolation feet,” which are small rubber feet at the base. Once your AC is used for a while, the feet can crack or disintegrate, making the compressor become imbalanced and cause a buzzing sound when running.

As your AC unit is used for cooling your home, it can start to freeze up. While this may sound counter-intuitive, it’s true.

Your AC may be frozen if the refrigerant starts leaking out of it. This may also cause a buzzing noise.

The issue may also be a malfunctioning compressor, which is the part of your system that pressurizes and cools the refrigerant. This is also what cools the interior of your home.

If you notice a buzzing sound, it likely means the compressor isn’t working properly or that the unit’s electrical voltage is “off.” In either case, professional repairs are needed to find the cause of the air conditioner noises and to make the necessary repairs.

Is Your AC Making Noise? Now You Know Why

Have you noticed your AC making noise? If so, you can use the information above to determine the issue.

Regardless of the problem, it is smart to get in touch with the professionals who can evaluate your unit and provide the needed repairs.

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