Humming or Loud AC Noise: What Does it Mean?

AC noise

As much as air conditioners get used in Florida, you’re bound to hear a mysterious ac noise coming from them. Sometimes it’s hard to tell the difference in a normal hum and a rattle or clank that might present a bigger problem.

When functioning properly, your air conditioner will make a steady quiet hum. When the system is on, you should hear the motor of the indoor unit as well as the fan and motor that drive the outside part of the system. As long as it produces a steady engine hum, the extra noise isn’t cause for concern.

Belts can loosen and fan rotors can accumulate dirt as a system ages. When the unit starts or slows to a stop, these parts rub together and produce a brief squeak. These noises are a sign that your air conditioner is due for an HVAC service tune-up rather than a sign of something wrong.

AC Noise Can Spell Bad News

Some noises can spell bad news even though not every alarming sound means you need expensive HVAC repair work. If you hear a sudden loud rattle from the exterior unit, a twig or other debris could have made it’s way into the motor. These can slip past the grill and obstruct your fan. Turn the system off immediately, shut off power to the external unit and remove any obstruction you see. Check for visible damage to the condenser coils, compressor or fan before starting the AC again. If you see bent metal or damage to moving parts, call us to come inspect.

An audible hiss could indicate a coolant leak or improperly sealed ductwork. Damage to the coolant lines requires immediate attention from our repair team.

Loud knocks or thumps almost always mean that something unusual is happening to your AC unit. Sometimes, it’s as simple as replacing a missing screw or tightening a belt. Other times, it’s an indication of a serious malfunction.

Regular HVAC AC maintenance is your best bet for keeping your system sounding and working right. It can diagnose the sounds that aren’t right before they become a bigger problem.

Air Hawk’s knowledgeable and trustworthy technicians are able to help. Call us at 813-929-HAWK or 727- SAME DAY to schedule your maintenance.


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