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Odd Sounds From Your AC and What They Might Mean


An air conditioner has several ways of sounding a warning siren that it needs professional repairs. One of those sirens is, appropriately, odd noises. 

Modern air conditioners run quieter than ever, but you’ll still hear a similar set of sounds while one operates: the whir of the blower fan, the movement of air through the vents, the hum of the compressor, the occasional drip of water, and brief clicking as the unit powers down. When different sounds intrude or the AC starts becoming much louder than before, pay close attention—these sounds give you an idea of what’s wrong and when it’s time to call for a professional to fix it.


This sound might simply come from a loose panel on the HVAC cabinet. Check that the door fully latches. (Some HVAC systems won’t operate if the door isn’t properly shut.) The rattling can also indicate parts have come loose inside the AC or are coming loose. Don’t try to hunt for the loose part yourself: technicians can identify exactly what’s gone wrong and repair it.


These noises both warn of a major AC problem: refrigerant leaks. The hissing is gaseous refrigerant escaping and the bubbling is liquid refrigerant. A drop in refrigerant charge for an air conditioner puts the whole system in danger of a breakdown, so shut off the AC and call for repairs right away.

Loud or Continuous Clicking

We mentioned clicking as a normal sound earlier, but you should only hear it as the air conditioner finishes a cooling cycle. This clicking is the normal noise of electrical components powering down. If you hear clicking at start-up, or the AC starts to create louder clicking at other times, you may have an electrical fault with the system or a compressor that’s hard starting.


When you hear the sound of metal striking metal, it’s probably something wrong with the blower fan. A bent blade or misaligned blower assembly can cause the blower to begin to hit its housing. This will rapidly cause much larger damage to the blower, so shut off power to the AC and call for assistance as soon as you can.

Grinding and Shrieking

These mechanical sounds are warning that one or more of the motors is dying. The shrieking sound comes from motor bearings wearing down. If the bearings completely wear down, the motor will soon burn out. The grinding often means a motor in the process of burning out. The sooner you call for help, the more likely the technicians can save the motor with a bearing replacement. Otherwise, they will have to repair the motor.


A high-pitched sound of air squeezing through a tight place is telling you that the air conditioner’s filter is clogged up. This filter needs to be changed every one to three months or it will have far worse effects on the air conditioner than making this sound.

Call us for air conditioning repair in Medina, OH and throughout Stark and Summit Counties. We’ll diagnose whatever is wrong with your cooling system and have it working right again.

Call Crown Group Ohio—Your Comfort Experts Since 1963.

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