8 Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner Making a Loud Buzzing Noise | Austin Air Conditioning and Heating | G&S Mechanical

The hum of your air conditioner is probably a familiar and comforting background noise. Like most of the appliances in your home, that little hum is a sign that everything’s working as it should.

But not all air conditioning noises are healthy. Some are caused by bigger problems, and you might need an air conditioning service and repair to fix the issue.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the most common air conditioning noises, the problems that are causing them, and what you can do to fix the issue.

Identifying the Most Common Air Conditioning Noises

The major problem with air conditioners that are making strange noises is that it’s difficult to diagnose the problem. Each noise has a different cause, and you’ll probably need a technician’s help to figure out where the issue lies. Generally speaking, your air conditioner will be making one of the following sounds:

1. Hissing

Hissing is a bit of an uncommon one, but it can be caused by two things:

  • Air leaks in the system or in the ductwork
  • Leaks in the refrigerant system

The good news is that air leaks are a small problem and very easy to fix. You’ll need a technician’s help to find the air leak, but they should be able to take care of the issue in no time.

The bad news is that refrigerant leaks are a more serious problem. Refrigerant gases are responsible for absorbing heat from the air and cooling down your home. These chemicals circulate through a sealed system, and they make a hissing noise if they begin to leak.

Refrigerant gases are usually harmful to humans and pets. If you notice a hissing noise that’s followed by your air con blowing warm air, contact a technician immediately.

2. Clicking

Clicking sounds can be a perfectly normal part of air conditioning operation. Every air conditioner contains a number of relays that are used for controlling large amounts of power. These make a clicking noise as the unit cycles on and off, so there’s nothing to worry about if the system makes a little noise here and there.

The problem occurs when an air conditioner clicks frequently, or if it makes a rapid-fire clicking noise. This is a sign that something’s wrong with one of the electrical components. Avoid running the air conditioner if it makes a rapid clicking noise. This can cause further damage to the system.

3. Rattling

Rattling sounds are one of the trickiest noises to diagnose in an air conditioner. They can be caused by a few different things, including faulty blower motors, failing bearings, bent fan blades and more.

In most cases, a rattling sound will actually be caused by build ups of dust or debris in the system. This debris can call into fan blades and rattle around. You can fix this issue yourself by opening the unit and looking for any obvious problems. Use a vacuum with a brush attachment to gently remove any build ups you find.

4. Squealing

Squeaking and squealing are less and less of a problem with modern air conditioners. Once upon a time, air conditioners had belt-driven blower motors. These belts would wear out and begin to squeal as they slipped on the pulley. This is a simple fix, but an annoying issue.

In modern systems, blower motors rarely use a belt drive, so squealing is usually caused by issues such as failing bearings in the motor or compressor. While most bearings are intended to last the life of the system, they can wear out prematurely, and you’ll need to have the unit repaired by a technician. Avoid running an air conditioner that’s making a squealing noise – this can make the issue worse.

5. Buzzing

Immediately switch off your air conditioner if it’s making an audible buzzing noise. Buzzing is usually caused by fault electrical connections or damaged wiring. This can be a serious hazard to anyone that touches the system, and it can even lead to a house fire.

You’ll need to have an electrician look at the system if you hear a buzzing sound.

Preventing Strange Noises

Air conditioners can last for decades under normal conditions. They’re simple appliances with very few components that can break down. But they do wear out over time, and sooner or later you’ll need to have your system repaired.

The best thing you can do to prevent strange noises is to invest in regular maintenance. Ducted and split system air conditioners should be serviced every 12 months. Commercial systems should ideally be serviced more frequently than that.

During a normal service, your technician will test, inspect and clean the system. This takes care of most of the common causes of a noisy air conditioner, such as build ups of dust and debris.

If you’re looking for a DIY-friendly solution, you can also make sure you’re regularly cleaning the air filter. This simple bit of maintenance will prevent the system from becoming clogged, which helps to avoid any strange noises and potentially expensive repairs.