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What Are Those Loud Noises Coming From My AC?

Heading into the worst of summer’s heat, you may be concerned if your AC unit suddenly produces loud noises. Because some noises can signal serious problems, it is important to identify the location and nature of the issue so that you can take appropriate steps to correct the problem or get assistance. Be sure to note any additional changes that occur at the same time or just after the unusual sounds are detected. As soon as you have determined the source of the noise, it is wise to turn your system off so that you can avoid more significant damage.

Condenser Sounds

Your outside unit houses the compressor, the most expensive component in your air conditioning system. A grinding or whining at this location may indicate a problem with the motor, making it important to stop operating the system and contact your air conditioning professional right away. The issue may be as simple as a lack of cleaning and lubrication for your moving parts, but it could be as serious as a malfunctioning or failing compressor.

You may also notice clicking sounds in the condenser at times. The grated sides of the housing may permit debris to blow or fall into the unit, and the noise could be the result of such material coming into contact with a fan blade or other moving part. If you are able to brush, blow, sweep or spray the debris away, you may be able to resolve the problem on your own. However, if you are unable to remove the material, it is wise to have a professional take care of this to ensure that the equipment isn’t otherwise compromised.

Rattling or banging at the outside unit could indicate broken or loose hardware. This should also be addressed by a professional to ensure that the equipment is properly repaired in a safe manner.

Air Handler Noises

If you notice clicking in your air handler, you may be dealing with debris in the blower, but you could also be facing a malfunctioning electronic component. This may require professional diagnostics. Your air handler is also the location where refrigerant-related sounds may be more pronounced. A hissing that occurs intermittently as your system cycles on and off may be attributed to the refrigerant in your coils absorbing heat and boiling. This is normal, but you may want to bring changes in these sounds to the attention of your AC technician. A sudden and short-lived hissing that is accompanied by reduced or lost cooling activity may signal a refrigerant leak in the air handler or in the refrigerant lines. This must be remedied before you continue to use your equipment.

Air pressure changes due to restricted airflow could occur because of dirty evaporator coils or a dirty filter. You can change your air filter easily, but you should contact us at Air Conditioning by Luquire to have your coils cleaned. We typically recommend that this service be completed in the spring so that your equipment is optimized before the heat arrives. However, we offer 24-hour emergency service to deal with serious AC problems throughout the fall and winter months. Call us for assistance.

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