Types Of Air Conditioner Noises

Although air conditioners are great, many people do wish that the cooling systems would be quieter than normal. This is especially true of those who are sensitive to noise or need absolute silence for concentration. Below are some of the different sources of AC noises.

Normal Noises

Most electrical appliances make some noise during operations, and your AC is not an exception. The normal noises vary in intensity depending on the type, size, and make and model of the AC. A quiet AC can emit sounds as low as 25 decibels, but this can go as high as 60 decibels for a noisy AC. 

Loose Parts

Your AC might be unusually noisy because some of its parts are loose. Here are examples of loose parts that can increase your AC's noise levels:

  • Fan
  • Connecting rods
  • Internal mounts
  • Belt
  • Copper lines
  • Electrical wiring

The loose parts will be noisy due to increased play at their points of attachments or if they hit nearby parts.

Damaged Parts

Both physical and electrical damage can make an AC overly noisy. A broken fan, damaged bearings, or snapped belt can all be noisy. As for electrical issues, potential issues include things like:

  • Low or overvoltage that interferes with motor operations
  • Compressor motor failure
  • Malfunctioning start and run capacitors
  • Malfunctioning relays (electrical switches)

Anything that interferes with the normal physical or electrical operation of the AC can make it noisy.

Leaking Refrigerant

You might not notice that your refrigerant is leaking right away if the leaks are small. You will only notice signs of low refrigerant levels if the pressure falls too much — signs such as inefficient cooling. A serious leak, for example, from a cut refrigerant line, will make unmistakably loud hissing sounds.

Foreign Objects

Foreign objects in the AC can also increase the AC's noisiness. This is especially true with hard objects near moving parts of the AC. Examples include pebbles, toys, and tree twigs in the blower assembly.


Lastly, an overworking AC will also be noisier than an AC that is working within its normal parameters. Aging, debris clogging, and improper sizing are some of the issues that can lead to noisy and overworked AC.

You can't do anything about normal AC noise — other than buying a relatively quiet system. As for the abnormal noises, identify the source of the problem and fix it. An AC repair technician can do that for you at a small fee.