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AC Noises: What They Mean and How to Fix Them

Woman holding pillows to her head to stop hearing annoying HVAC unit noise

Picture this. You’re relaxing indoors on a hot summer day, enjoying the peace and quiet of your comfortably cooled home. Suddenly, you hear a cacophony of sounds coming from your air conditioner. Whether it’s an intermittent clicking or a constant buzzing sound, sounds stemming from your AC can indicate a much larger issue that should be addressed immediately. 

If you’re hearing unusual noises coming from your air conditioner, it’s time to call the professionals. At ACS, we offer premium HVAC repair, replacement, and regular maintenance to keep your home comfortable. With decades of valuable industry experience, our NATE-certified technicians deliver unparalleled client satisfaction and top-quality service you won’t find anywhere else. 

This article will discuss the different types of AC noises and how to fix them. These noises will include the following:

  • Buzzing noises
  • Clicking noises
  • Banging noises
  • Hissing noises
  • Squealing noises

Buzzing Noises

If your air conditioner starts buzzing like a bumble bee or text message alert, you might have a problem. Generally, buzzing noises mean there’s an issue with your outdoor AC unit. For example, buzzing might stem from a faulty condenser fan, which can be damaged from electrical issues affecting its motor or unwanted debris inside the unit. Another possibility may be a defective compressor, which can also create a buzz from electrical malfunctions. For issues concerning the outdoor unit, we recommend calling professional repair services.

Buzzing noises from an indoor AC unit are likely a result of frozen evaporator coils, typically caused by refrigerant leaks. Before calling professionals, you can try to stop the indoor buzzing noises by turning your system off to let the coils defrost and changing your air filter. However, if coils freeze up again and the buzzing returns, it’s time to call your local HVAC specialist. 

Clicking Noises

Clicking noises from your thermostat are normal when the AC first cranks on or off. However, if the clicking noises persist throughout your entire cooling cycle, you might have something to worry about. Consistent clicking usually results from electrical issues with a relay switch or capacitors in the compress. Or, it might also mean that your thermostat is dying and needs to be replaced. Since clicking is a clear sign of electrical problems, you’ll need help from a knowledgeable and experienced technician who will help you identify the exact root of the issue. 

Banging Noises

Banging sounds typically stem from loose or broken parts. Perhaps your indoor unit’s blower fan has a loose blade, or your compressor has an unsecured piston pin or connecting rod. Any variation of unfastened parts will not only cause an unwanted cacophony but may also damage your unit as it continues to run. We recommend scheduling a visit from your local air specialist to address banging sounds, as these will likely require refastening or replacing loose parts. 

Hissing Noises

Like a venomous snake, your air conditioner will make hissing noises if there’s something to fear. And in this case, that fear is leaking refrigerant. Refrigerant makes a hissing sound as it releases pressure and leaks through cracks in piping. These leaks typically require professional repair from EPA-licensed technicians. Hissing may be an early sign of high internal pressure within the compressor. If this is the case, the hissing noise will usually be followed by a high-pitched squealing. 

Squealing Noises

As mentioned above, squealing is a typical result of high internal pressure in your compressor. This noise typically occurs when you first turn on the AC and lasts for only a few seconds. Though only occurring for a short duration, compressor-related squealing should be addressed by a professional immediately as it signals dangerous operations conditions. Squealing may also stem from dry fan motor bearings or loose fan belts. In this case, all you’ll need is some lubrication to alleviate the issue. 

HVAC Heating and Cooling with ACS

If you need heating and cooling services for your home this summer, you can count on ACS to get the job done. With decades of industry experience, our certified HVAC technicians will optimize your indoor comfort with our premium HVAC services. Connect with our team today for top-quality HVAC maintenance, repair, or installation in Covington, Milledgeville, and surrounding areas.