The average air conditioner operates with a hum that is almost like white noise. Many homeowners tune out this noise, so they barely even notice if their air conditioner is running. This means that it can be a little disconcerting if your air conditioner starts to make a strange noise. Strange air conditioner noises usually mean that there is a problem developing somewhere in the system. Prompt attention to these issues could not only save you money in repairs, but prevent further damage. So, here are some common warning sounds you should listen for.listen-1463095


A hissing or gurgling noise emitted from your air conditioner is a sign that there are some air bubbles in the refrigerant line. While this may appear to be innocuous, it is due to a leak at some point in the system, that is leaking refrigerant. Your air conditioner refrigerant is designed to be a closed loop, where it simply recycles back and forth. If you have a leak, the system will be drained of this vital fluid, which will cause a drop in pressure and compromised performance. If the problem is not corrected, eventually a lack of fluid will cause a complete system breakdown.
This problem cannot simply be resolved by topping up the fluid. The underlying problem of the leak needs to be located and corrected. So, if you hear this type of noise, ensure that your system is checked by a professional HVAC specialist as soon as possible to avoid very costly repairs.


A grinding noise is very obvious to anyone, and it is a sure sign of a problem. In the case of air conditioners, it is usually due to a problem with the air handler. The handler is needed to circulate the cooled air around your home. This process generates friction, so to compensate for this there are oiled bearings in the motor of the air handler. Over time, the bearings wear down, which causes an increase in friction on the system. This produces a loud grinding noise, which needs prompt attention. If the friction is allowed to persist unchecked, there is a risk that the air handler motor will burn out.


If you hear a screeching noise when you turn on your air conditioner, the first step is to determine the source. The noise could be coming from either the indoor or outdoor unit, and that will determine the specifics of the problem. If the source of the noise is the outdoor unit, it could be due to either the compressor or the fan motor. The fan motor has bearings that can wear out. When this happens, the fan will start to make a screeching sound as it moves. The compressor also has a motor that can suffer from a similar issue.

If the source of the screeching is inside your home, it could be the blower motor fan or a worn or misaligned belt on one of the components.

This means that a screeching sound could be a result of a minor issue such as re-adjusting a belt or something more serious, so it is important to have your system checked.