Why is my air conditioner making a loud noise when starting or turning off? (February 2023) (2023)

Why is my air conditioner making a loud noise when starting or turning off? (February 2023) (1)

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Has your air conditioner started making loud noises when starting or shutting off lately? Are you wondering what could be causing this? Then we can help.

In this troubleshooting guide we cover:

  • What Causes Your Air Conditioner to Make Loud Noises When Starting?
  • Is the sound of your air conditioner a sign that your system needs some fine-tuning?
  • How can you stop your air conditioner from making loud noises?
  • Should you stop using your AC unit if it makes a loud noise?

Any time you hear a strange noise coming from your air conditioner, it can cause immediate anxiety, especially during the hot summer months or when a high-risk person lives in your home.

We were there too. So don't worry.

We'll help you troubleshoot it, and if it's something important, we also have a tip on how to deal with it.

What's in this guide?

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What are the most common causes of loud noises coming from your air conditioner?

air conditionersare complex and consist of several dozen components that must all work together for the process to be successful. All of these parts can wear out on each other, and if one or more components fail, your device can start making some pretty horrible noises.

There is a positive side, by listening carefully to the sound your device is making, you may be able to diagnose the problem without having to pay an expensive service bill.

Why is my air conditioner making a loud noise when starting or turning off? (February 2023) (2)

rattling noises and humming noises

Loose parts can cause a rattling or buzzing noise. Due to the vibrations in your air conditioner, it is not uncommon for parts to come loose.

However, you should fix loose parts as soon as you notice them. Otherwise, they can damage other components and turn a simple DIY repair into onecostly HVAC repair.

squeaking noises and buzzing noises

Any time you hear a humming noise from an electrically powered device, it can be a sign of serious electrical problems. Your air conditioner usually makes this noise when the voltage is too low, wires have come loose, your compressor motor isn't good, or you have a badly running capacitor, you can hear ita rumbling soundcomes from your air conditioner.

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An incorrectly installed air filter can also cause an internal rattling noise when you turn your device on or off.

Popping noises and slamming noises in your house

A popping noise or a banging noise, a clank or a clank could be your AC system shutter closing as your system shuts down. The noise is usually very brief and can sound like two metal sheets hitting each other.

A clinking noise in your vent

If the blower motor is connected to yoursheat pumpis not good, you may hear a tap or clink coming from your vent. The noise you are hearing could be due to the impeller hitting another component or something foreign in your air conditioner.

Cracking and creaking noises from pipes

When your air conditioner cycles on and off, it's not uncommon for the airflow or pressure to creak and crack the ducts and other flexible parts. Pops are usually nothing to worry about unless you hear a pop followed by a thump.

The air ducts and other flexible components can also creak and crack with temperature changes. While not an incredibly loud noise, it can be frightening because it sounds like your building is cracking.

Your air conditioner is making clicking noises

Like buzzing and buzzing, a clicking sound when the system is on or off can mean you have a larger electrical connection problem. The device clicks as it tries to turn on.

To avoid calling an HVAC technician for an easy fix, make sure none of the breakers have tripped. If a circuit is tripped, at least part of the unit will not function.

What should you do if you hear a loud noise from your air conditioner?

A loud noise coming from your outdoor unit means you probably have a faulty compressor, condenser or a bad condensercondenser fan motor. Each of these components is vital.

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If one or more aren't working, warm air will start leaking out of your vents, and if you don't fix the components, they can affect other parts as well. Here are some steps you can take to troubleshoot your air conditioner.

1. Check the outdoor fan and inspect the unit

Your condenser fan is made up of the giant blades that reside insidecenter of your outdoor unit. Before you set the thermostat or start troubleshooting, you should check to see if the fan is spinning, and if so, watch the blades spin.

If they seem unbalanced or you can hear the fan banging against something, deposits in the condenser case could be causing the noise you are hearing. If nothing is hitting the fan, check to see if the coil appears to be in good condition and check the copper refrigerant lines at the bottom of the unit for ice.

If there is ice on your unit, it means your HVAC system freon levels are low and there is likely a refrigerant leak.

Why is my air conditioner making a loud noise when starting or turning off? (February 2023) (3)

Clogged air filters can wreak havoc on your HVAC system. Even if your blower, air intake, compressor, and other vital central air components are in good condition, with a dirty filter, your air conditioner will struggle to maintain a comfortable temperature in your home, and they may also make a humming or rattling noise.

Since the noise you hear could be something hitting the condenser fan, it's a good idea to clean the outdoor unit. Before you begin, turn off your air conditioner and condenser by locating the fuse box near your air conditioner.

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Once you find the box, make sure the switch is off. So if someone else turns on the air conditioner while you're working on it, the fan won't start spinning.

When safe, remove the top grille and carefully remove anything that fell inside. Then carefully remove any debris on your coil. If the spool is dirty, you can use a spool cleaner to remove stuck dirt and grime.

If the fan wasn't spinning the first time you checked, see if it's working when you turn your air conditioner back on. If it doesn't, you can try starting it by using a tool to gently push the blade after you've set your thermostat to at least 10 degrees below your home's temperature and turned on the air conditioning.

If the fan starts spinning, the problem is likely a run capacitor that is responsible for turning the fan on.

If you rule out the fan motor, condenser coil, fan blades, and run condenser and you still hear the noise, it's probably your compressor.

If you can't find any problem with your AC outdoor unit, you need to switch to the indoor unit. When inspecting the air conditioner, look for visual signs of a problem such as: B. bent fins or ice and debris on the evaporator coil.

For more information on why your air conditioner is making a loud noise, watch this video:

Final advice if your air conditioner makes a loud noise when starting up or shutting down

During normal operation, your air conditioner should not be making any worrisome noises. If this is the case, it means that your system is likely to crash.

If you don't have one yetHome Warranty Plan, now would be a good time to buy one. Your Homeowner Services Agreement will help pay for parts and installation by alicensed HVAC professionalwhen you need AC repair.

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