Noises of an AC System
When you hear any kind of noise coming from your AC system, it’s normal to stop and listen for anything that sounds like expensive repairs may be on the horizon. However, you don’t have to panic when your AC system makes noises. Even when the system is off, it can still make sounds under normal circumstances.
The key to discerning whether your AC system is malfunctioning from the sounds it makes is understanding the difference between normal noises of an AC system and noises that indicate there’s a problem. Take a look at our tips below to help you get started.
What Are the Normal Noises of an AC System?
Since an AC system involves motors propelling air through a configuration of hollow vents, it’s quite normal to hear certain types of noises when your AC system is in operation. Here are some common noises you may hear from your AC system and what they typically mean:
- You hear a clicking noise when you start or shut down your AC system. This is a normal noise that your AC system’s electrical components can make when you’re turning your system on and off. If the clicking is constant, however, there may be a problem with your unit’s electrical parts.
- You hear constant humming. This noise is also normal to hear when the system is running. Most AC systems emit a low humming noise whenever they’re in use, but if you notice a change in the loudness or pitch of the humming, there’s likely something wrong with your system.
- You hear slight squeaking or squealing when you start your AC system. This can be a normal occurrence when you start your AC system. Some indoor blowers and outdoor fan motors squeal or squeak when the system is turned on, but if the noises are abnormal, have your AC system inspected.
What Are the Noises of an AC System That Indicate Something’s Wrong?
When your AC system is making noises out of the ordinary, it’s almost a sure indicator that something is wrong with the system. If you’re hearing any of the following noises from your AC system, it’s time to contact an AC repair professional:
- You hear abnormal clicking, squeaking, squealing or humming: If the quiet noises your AC system normally makes get louder, more frequent or change in any other way, something in the system may need repairing.
- You hear a rattling noise. This noise typically means there are loose parts in your AC system that are clattering when the air blows through.
- You hear a screaming or screeching noise. If you hear screaming or screeching, turn your system off and call a repair service immediately. These noises indicate a refrigerant leak.
- You hear buzzing noises. Buzzing typically indicates a number of AC issues — but it’s not a normal sound for any system and requires a professional to diagnose the issue.