Diagnosing Air Conditioner Sounds

October 04, 2023

Diagnosing Air Conditioner Sounds

While no air conditioner operates in complete silence, strange sounds from your air conditioner aren't associated with normal function. In this article, you'll learn more about the most common sounds air conditioners make when repairs are needed.

You've likely noticed that there is always some level of noise associated with the cooling process as your A/C works to produce and move cooled air through your home. However, sounds that are outside the range of those your air conditioner normally produces are typically a sign that there is an issue in need of repair. Understanding what these sounds mean can help you determine when it's time to contact your A/C repair service for help—the sooner you take care of air conditioning problems, the faster you'll restore your home's comfort, while also preventing high energy bills during the months of hot weather in Jacksonville.


Clicking noises are typically associated with the outdoor condenser unit of central air conditioning systems. If you notice a clicking noise coming from your A/C while you're outside, it likely means that a fan blade has come loose or there is debris inside the unit striking the fan blades as they move. Take a moment to inspect your condenser and look for any obvious signs of damage; remove debris from the area and tighten any bolts that appear to be loose. If this doesn't stop the noise, contact your A/C service to perform an inspection and cleaning, as well as tighten any interior components that could be the cause of the clicking you hear.


Rattling noises in either the indoor or outdoor component of your A/C are a signal that something is loose. You can attempt to tighten any exterior panels to see if the rattling is coming from the appliance's casing. If this doesn't solve the problem, however, it's time to call in a professional—because air conditioners have a number of interior components, it's best to let an experienced A/C technician locate and address the loose part.


Air conditioning equipment utilizes belts as part of the fan and air handling system. When these belts begin to wear out, they tend to create a telltale screeching sound. If you hear screeching noises from your air conditioner every time it activates, you'll need to call in an A/C technician to replace the belt. It's imperative to make this call as soon as possible—like a car engine, the interior of your air conditioner can be damaged if the belt is allowed to fully wear out and snap.


Whistling sounds are caused when air escapes through worn seals or holes in your air conditioner or the ducts around it. In some cases, whistling is caused when the bolts that hold your air conditioning system together become loose, which affects the integrity of its seals. You can try tightening the bolts on the exterior of your appliance to see if this solves the problem—if not, however, the cause could be a deteriorating seal or a leak in an air duct, both of which should be addressed by an HVAC professional.

Maintaining your air conditioner is a simple step toward greater home comfort and efficiency throughout the cooling season. You can find out more about our home HVAC services when you check us out on the web or read through our blog for additional A/C troubleshooting and maintenance tips.

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Last Updated: October 17, 2023