5 Common Causes of a Noisy AC System | Comfort Zone
Women wearing headphones to block out unpleasant noise.
June 19, 2020

On a hot, humid summer day in Atlanta, you might be willing to put up with excessive noise from your air conditioner. But a noisy AC system shouldn’t be endured or ignored, even when it seems to be cooling sufficiently.

Aside from being unpleasant, an odd or loud noise is usually a sign that something is wrong – and the sooner the problem is corrected, the better. Otherwise, a minor issue can turn into a major problem that costs more to fix and possibly leaves you with no AC at the peak of summer heat.

5 Common Sources of Excessive AC Noise

Fortunately, many causes of excessive AC noise entail relatively easy fixes. Here are five that Atlanta homeowners should be aware of.

Clunking or Rattling from the Blower – The blower, which is a motor and fan assembly, is housed in the indoor part of your AC system. It can become noisy if the fan blades are bent or if there are foreign objects in the blower housing. Alternatively, blower noise could be caused by worn parts or low lubricant.

Clunking or Rattling from the Condenser– Noise coming from the outside signals something is off with the condenser, the outdoor part of your AC system. Just like with the blower, it could indicate low lubricant, worn parts, bent fan blades, or foreign objects, such as sticks, in the condenser housing.

Noise from Ductwork – At the start of the cooling season, when the outdoor temperature tends to fluctuate, the metal ductwork often expands and contracts. This is normal and should stop when temperatures become more consistent. However, if you continue to hear odd sounds from the ductwork or vents after temperatures stabilize, it’s probably best to have an HVAC professional take a look.

Gurgling from the Condensate Line The condensate line runs from the condensate pan, in the indoor part of your AC system, to an indoor or outdoor drainage point. Gurgling sounds indicate a blockage somewhere in the line, which requires a simple cleaning.

Clicking Sounds – Clicking noises, whether they come from the inside or outside, could indicate an electrical problem. In this case, you should contact an HVAC professional right away. Although there could be other reasons your AC makes a clicking noise, it is always safest to rule out – or find and fix – an electrical issue as soon as possible.

An AC Tune-up Addresses Many Causes of AC Noise

Having your AC system cleaned and inspected once a year prevents, or corrects, many of the common causes of excessive noise. A professional HVAC preventive maintenance program typically includes, for example, lubrication and replacement of worn parts, as well as a thorough inspection and cleaning.

Plus, when done regularly, routine AC maintenance:

  • Reduces the chances of a major breakdown
  • Improves energy efficiency
  • Extends the operational life of your AC system.

To learn about additional benefits, check out Comfort Zone’s maintenance plan, the Comfort Club.

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