Making A Strange Noise

What To Do When Your AC Is Making A Strange Noise

Air conditioning (AC) technologies have come so far since their introduction to the world. It has undergone a series of changes and updates that make most AC unit offerings more durable, efficient, and useful.

However, they are still prone to issues and other concerns. If your AC unit is making some strange noises, there’s something wrong with it. Unfortunately, since air conditioning units are typically too complex for ordinary folks, it’s difficult to identify what kind of issue is causing it to make strange noises.

Of course, you always have the option to call a professional to do air conditioner tune up services, but if your current situation doesn’t grant you the luxury of calling for professional services, here are the nine things you can do.

  • Turn Off The AC Immediately

It’s advised to turn off the air conditioner immediately after it starts making unfamiliar noises. This is mainly because keeping it turned on might worsen its current condition. If you’re wondering what noise you have to watch out for, here’s a list of noises that an AC unit shouldn’t normally make:

  • Buzzing;
  • Rattling;
  • Squealing;
  • Humming;
  • Clicking; and
  • Banging

If you hear any of these noises, turn off the AC immediately and unplug its power cord.

AC Is Making A Strange Noise

  • Open The AC Unit

You have to open the AC unit up to inspect its insides. You can do this by unscrewing the screws and bolts and lifting off the cover or the panel. Take note that AC units may differ in structure, so it’s best to look up your product’s manual on the Internet first before attempting to disassemble it. Make sure you handle every component with care when doing this.

  • Clean The Unit If The Components Are Dirty

The next thing you have to do is make sure the AC unit isn’t dirty. If it is, then the dirt might be the primary cause of the noise. In that case, you have to clean the unit using a vacuum cleaner or a brush.

  • Tighten The AC’s Screws And Bolts

Whenever an air conditioner is turned on, it vibrates continuously. While it doesn’t do it too intensely, this vibration can still cause the screws and bolts on the AC unit to come loose.

With enough vibrations, these fasteners would eventually stop serving their purpose. It may lead to the components they’re meant to hold in place going out of control. This would result in strange noises.

The good news is that you can easily fix this by simply tightening any loose screws and bolts. When doing so, avoid putting too much force into the components as it may result in overtightening.

  • Apply A Lubricant

If the AC unit is making a grinding or humming noise, there’s a high likelihood that it’s because screws and bolts are too tight. It’s believed that this is rare for they mostly get loose instead of the other way around. Nevertheless, you can easily eliminate the noise issue by applying lubrication to the unit. However, remember that not all oils are suitable for this type of machinery. Look for choices that are suited for your AC’s make.

  • Check For Debris

If the screws and bolts aren’t too loose or too tight, then the noise might be due to stuck debris instead. Stones, branches, and other particles may end up getting stuck in your air conditioner. When that happens, the AC unit components will grind against the debris, which would explain the noise. For that reason, make sure you check your AC’s interior for debris regularly.

  • Replace Unrepairable Components

If the noise is starting to get a bit too loud, then it’s a sign that you’re dealing with a worse issue than you initially thought. If that’s the case, the next thing you need to do is check each component individually. Doing so would allow you to inspect if there’s something wrong with any of them that is causing the issue.

Since most components of an air conditioner have complex structures, it’s best to contact a technician to do the repairs. However, if they’ve sustained too much damage, you should have them replaced instead. For your reference, here’s a list of AC components that sustain damage the most:

  • Refrigerant;
  • Expansion Valve;
  • Compressor;
  • Condenser Coil;
  • Evaporator Coil; and
  • Fans


When an AC is making strange noises, not only is it distracting, it also indicates that there’s an issue with the unit that you’re not aware of. Hence, it’s essential to resolve the issue as soon as possible. It might not be enough to fix the underlying problem altogether, but these pointers should be enough to help you eliminate the unfamiliar noises coming from your AC unit all by yourself.