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Why Is My AC Making Noise?

Posted On: May 21, 2021

Nothing’s worse than suffering through a sweltering summer day only to hear your air conditioner start to make strange noises. While some noises might be harmless, others can indicate a larger repair need or imminent breakdown.

At Genz-Ryan Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical, our cooling specialists are no strangers to the types of sounds a failing air conditioner can make. Our team has heard it all and fixed it all — and now we’re here to help you identify the warning signs of needed AC repair early by helping you understand what the noises your air conditioner is making mean!

Is your air conditioner keeping you up at night? Get the emergency AC repair services you need by contacting our team today.

8 Noises Air Conditioners Make & Their Common Causes

When your air conditioner malfunctions or requires maintenance, it won’t be shy about letting you know a problem exists. One of the ways your AC unit will alert you to a problem is by making strange noises. The following are just some of the most common sounds that a failing air conditioner will make when a problem exists, as well as what the possible causes could potentially be:

  • Banging: If your air conditioner gives off a banging sound, there’s likely a loose or broken part at play within the AC compressor. Whether it’s the connecting rod, piston pin, crankshaft, or an unbalanced indoor blower, the banging in your air conditioner should be addressed sooner than later.
  • Clanking: Clanking and banging tend to go hand in hand, and clanking noises also indicate that your AC unit has a broken or loose part inside. From a loose compressor to out-of-balance indoor blowers and outdoor fans, it’s important to address these problems before they escalate to larger issues.
  • Clicking: If you notice clicking when starting up or shutting down your unit, this is normal. However, if you notice clicking sounds continuously during operation, it may be a sign that your unit is experiencing electrical issues.
  • Buzzing: These sounds can indicate a number of issues ranging from loose parts and debris to refrigerant leaks or filthy air filters. Especially if you hear buzzing while having problems keeping your indoor temperature cool enough, a refrigerant leak is likely at play.
  • Squealing: When you hear squealing or squeaking noises emanating from your ductwork, you may have a bad blower or fan on your hands. Sometimes, however, your unit may squeak or squeal upon startup, which may be normal for your system. It’s important to understand the difference between normal noisiness and a potential problem with your AC.
  • Humming: If you hear a humming sound coming from your air conditioner, it’s generally not as serious as some other noises you might hear; however, it still indicates an issue with your system. You may have electrical issues, loose parts, or unbalanced refrigerant piping affecting your cooling equipment.
  • Chattering/Rattling: This is one of the more serious noises your air conditioner will make when it malfunctions and indicates that your system is starting to deteriorate. Sometimes, the cause of chattering or rattling is more benign, signaling that there are twigs or leaves clogged in the system. The best defense is always a good offense, which is why it’s recommended that you contact a knowledgeable HVAC provider if you hear rattling in your AC.
  • Screaming: Yes — air conditioners can scream, and when they do, it’s never pretty. If your air conditioner starts screaming, shut it down immediately and contact your trusted cooling specialist for help. There may be a refrigerant leak at play which can damage your system and threaten your family’s health.

When to Contact Genz-Ryan for AC Service

While some noises that your air conditioner makes are normal, others indicate the need for immediate service by your trusted HVAC technician. Genz-Ryan has provided Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area families with the long-lasting air conditioning repair services they need since 1950.

Allow our team to restore your AC to working condition by scheduling emergency air conditioner repair services with Genz-Ryan today!

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