Air ConditioningWhy Is My Air Conditioner Making Loud Noises?

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Are you wondering why your air conditioner is making loud noises? It may be because it’s time for maintenance. It’s not unusual for A/C systems to make sounds, but the important thing to note is the type of sound your unit is making since different sounds signify different issues. Below are some common A/C noises and the possible problems behind the noise.

#1 – Squealing

If your air conditioning system is squealing or screeching, it’s most likely from problems with a belt, blower, or motor. This itself isn’t hazardous, but if left in poor condition, it can lead to larger repairs down the road. Worse yet, it could cause an immediate breakdown. For some systems, this sound is normal when you initially turn on the A/C, but you should be able to tell if this is normal for your system or if there is an issue.

#2 – Chattering or Rattling

A rattling sound coming from your air conditioner could mean that the system is worn down and parts have become loose. The electrical contactor in the equipment can also make a chattering sound. If this issue isn’t fixed, it can cause damage to other components including the compressor. Another cause of rattling could be the fan, which can rattle when it’s loose. This can be resolved by checking for loose screws or bolts in the A/C unit’s casing, cleaning condenser coils, and changing your indoor air filter.

#3 – Whistling or Screaming

If you hear high-pitched whistling, shut your air conditioner off immediately and call a professional. The most likely cause is a refrigerant leak, which not only damages your air conditioner but can be hazardous to your family’s health. Screaming could also be from high internal pressure within your compressor, and can also be dangerous. And don’t be alarmed if your air conditioner turns off on its own. A sensor is simply doing its job to keep you safe.

#4 – Buzzing

  • There is a problem with the electrical connections.
    Electrical connections loosen over time and eventually make a humming noise. If the wiring isn’t repaired, your A/C may start shorting your home’s power.
  • You may have an issue with your home’s circuit breakers.
    The outdoor unit can make this noise due to failing circuit breakers.
  • Your air conditioner has “frozen” over time.
    If your A/C frequently freezes, it’s important to get to the bottom of the issue and get it fixed. Possible reasons for freezing are restricted airflow or refrigerant leaks. You will likely see ice in or on the unit.
  • The A/C condenser fan motor has stopped working.
    If the outdoor unit’s condenser stops working, it can cause buzzing.
  • Your system’s contactor relay switch may have an issue.
    If the contactor relay switch has stopped working, it can cause buzzing. This switch controls the flow of electricity to the compressor. This is one of the more common reasons for buzzing, but the good news is it’s also one of the least expensive to resolve.

#5 – Humming

Humming is usually not serious, but it could still indicate an issue. Loose parts and refrigerant piping can cause vibration. If these are left unchecked, it could lead to a more serious issue. If the compressor hums and won’t start, there may be a problem with the motor. On the other hand, loose wiring could also cause this noise.

#6 – Thumping

If things get caught in your system’s fan, it can cause thumping. If you hear any loud thumping or banging, make sure to check your system for any trapped debris before calling an HVAC professional. This sound can also be a sign of a part on the indoor blower or outdoor fan that’s loose or out-of-balance.

Using an air conditioner when it has a problem could lead to further damage, higher expenses, and safety issues. Repairing an A/C system and its electrical components should always be left to HVAC professionals. If you hear a strange noise, shut the air conditioner off and call a professional right away. We can handle your air conditioning repair and maintenance needs. We’ll make sure your A/C can take on the summer heat with our high-quality service. We serve the areas in and surrounding Seattle, Redmond, and Tacoma.

Call us at (425) 645-0404, or use our online contact form to arrange maintenance or repair service.

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