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What's That Awful Noise Coming From My A/C?

Have you ever flipped on your air conditioner and been greeted by an unexpected, awful noise that’s never been there before? When things go wrong in your air conditioner, these strange noises are often the first thing to alert you to the issue, and that means you shouldn’t ignore them whatsoever. Failing to fix a serious noise could result in what was initially a minor issue becoming a major repair that can cost you thousands more to fix, so don’t ignore them! Here are what a few of the noises in your air conditioner might make and the problems they could be pointing to.

Banging, Clanking, or Thumping

A loud, sudden thud, bang, or clang of metal on metal in your air conditioner is almost always the result of a loose part either flying off from its normal position and colliding with another part or possibly even staying where it’s supposed to be and still making hard contact. In any case, this isn’t something that you should ignore. A disconnected part can cause damage to your system, particularly if it gets caught up in another moving part. A part that’s simply loose could break itself or possibly damage the rest of your unit from all the repeated collisions. Shut your system down as soon as possible and call a professional Palm Beach County air conditioning repairs team to have it inspected.

Squealing or Screeching

A sudden loud squealing or screeching noise is usually an indicator of metal rubbing against metal without lubrication or any way of reducing the friction between them. In some cases this is the sign that a motor bearing may have rusted or be wearing out, which isn’t all that uncommon. However, the squealing sound could come from a fan belt as it tries to turn between your motor and your fan itself. These belts need to remain lubricated in order to reduce friction, but maintain the friction that’s necessary for ideal operation.


A loud screaming sound coming from your outdoor unit is unfortunately a really bad sign: it’s usually indicative of a problem with your compressor, usually caused by the pressure in your system being too high from either overcharging your filament, or your compressor losing its ability to properly sense and regulate the pressure in your lines. This could also be indicative of a refrigerant leak, which is usually caused by having too much pressure in your refrigerant lines, once again thanks to your compressor.

If this is the case, most modern systems should shut themselves off automatically, sensing that there’s a critical issue that could be a safety hazard. This is a good thing: it not only could save you a ton of money on getting the problem fixed, but it could save you and your family from a dangerous situation.


Humming is usually an indicator of something loose in your system, though it doesn’t always have to be a part of your air conditioner. In fact, it’s not uncommon for humming in your outside unit to come from something like a leaf or stick getting caught in a cooling fin, where the strong air currents whip it around mercilessly. However, if the problem persists, there could be a bigger issue at hand. Your fan blades could be loose or out of balance, your fan motor may have come loose on its mount, or the copper lines that carry refrigerant may have come loose and be rubbing against something. This last one is perhaps the most serious, as a vibrating refrigerant line could cause your unit to freeze and stop producing cold air.

If you’re hearing a strange noise from your air conditioner, shut it off and call Phoenix Air Conditioning, LLC now at 888-660-4337 to request an emergency repair!