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Weird AC Noises and What They Mean

Your air conditioner is a crucial part of your home during the summer months. It keeps you cool and comfortable, and when it's working properly, you hardly even know it's there. However, sometimes your AC can make strange noises that can be confusing or worrying.

In this blog post, we will discuss the most common AC noises and what they mean. We'll also provide tips on how to fix them!

Common AC Noises


Has your AC been hissing at you lately? This likely means that there is a refrigerant leak in one of your system's lines or coils. While this doesn't spell the end for your air conditioner, it's crucial you get a licensed professional to fix it fast. Refrigerant is not only expensive and needed by your AC system to operate correctly. It is also poisonous, so a leak can be potentially hazardous to your family.


If you hear a rattling noise, this could mean a few different things. Potential problems include:

  • Loose screws and panels

  • Misaligned fan blade

  • Faulty Motor

  • Outside Debris

To diagnose which of these problems is the source of the rattling noise, you should check the unit while it's running to see if you can spot loose screws or panels rattling. If you don't notice anything while it's running, shut off the power to the condenser at the breaker box and then look in the unit to see if you can find any debris. If you still can't find anything, then it's time to get the help of a professional.


If your AC unit is making a grinding noise, it usually means one of two things, either you have a compression problem, or there are loose or damaged belts.

If it's a compressor issue, the grinding noise is happening because the pistons that compress the refrigerant gas in your AC have become worn out. If this is the case, that means you're going to need a new compressor or even a new unit entirely.

If it's a belt issue, the grinding is coming from the blower fan belt hitting other parts inside the air conditioner. This is an easy fix for a professional, but it's important you get it fixed as soon as possible to avoid any further damage to your unit.


This noise could mean a couple of things depending on the pitch of the noise. If your AC is making a high-pitched squealing noise, it could be a sign that the compressor is broken. High internal pressure has built up inside your compressor, and despite the fact that there is a built-in sensor designed to shut things down if the pressure grows out of control, you should still immediately power down your system and schedule a repair.

If it's a low-pitched squealing sound, this means the belt in your unit has become worn out. It's best to get the belt replaced right away, or else the belt may break and leave you without an air conditioner until a technician can get to you.


While it is normal for an air conditioner to make a clicking noise at the start-up or end of a cooling cycle, if the clicking noise is constant, it could be a sign of a problem. Some potential causes of a continuous or ongoing clicking noise include:

  • An obstruction in the A/C fans

  • The capacitator losing its charge

  • Faulty electrical signals

  • A loose A/C fan

  • A malfunctioning thermostat

If you notice your AC unit making a constant or ongoing clicking noise, it's essential to have it checked out by a professional. Ignoring the problem could lead to further damage to your unit or even a complete breakdown.

Don't Fear Farmer's Air is Here

If you are experiencing any of the above sounds, the expert team at Farmer's Air is here to help! With over 30 years of HVAC experience, there's no hiss, rattle, or click that our NATE-certified technicians can't diagnose and repair. Call (843) 508-9779 or contact us online us online to schedule your appointment today.