Air conditioners are known for being a little loud, but if yours is really getting in the way of you having a quiet afternoon inside your cool house, you should find ways to quiet it. One of the first things that you need to determine is whether there’s something wrong with your air conditioner or if the placement of your air conditioner is just not ideal. There are several reasons that your air conditioner might be too loud, and you should make sure that you find out if there’s something broken on it before you move to ways of quieting a perfectly functioning air conditioner.

Banging Noises

If you hear a loud banging sound, there’s a good chance that you might have some loose parts inside the compressor on the outside unit. As an air conditioner becomes older, it’s more likely that parts will become loose and begin to hit the frame of the compressor. Because a compressor for an air conditioner isn’t easily taken apart, you will more than likely need to buy a new air conditioner at this point.

Clicking Sounds

Hearing a clicking sound at the beginning or end of a cooling cycle is pretty normal. But if you begin to hear these sounds throughout the entire span of time that the air conditioner is running, this isn’t. In fact, if you hear this sound the entire time, there’s a good chance that you have something wrong with your thermostat and will need a new one installed to fix the problem.

Buzzing Noises

If you hear a buzzing sound coming from your air conditioner, there are a number of problems that could be going on with your air conditioner, and it’s important that you have it checked out right away. A buzzing sound could indicate that the fan blades in the outside unit are unbalanced, or it could mean that the condenser coils are dirty. There might also be something near the copper lines.

Humming Sounds

When you hear a humming sound coming from your air conditioner, you might have a defective contactor relay switch, which is the component that starts the condenser unit when the thermostat gives the signal. It’s an electrical issue, so it could cause severe damage to other parts of the air conditioning system if you don’t have it checked out and fixed.

Rattling Sounds

A rattling sound is often just a sign that there are leaves or twigs stuck inside the outdoor unit, but there are times when this sound could be a sign of a much larger problem. For instance, you might have a problem with the electrical contactor, and you should have it fixed right away so that you don’t further damage your air conditioner.


If the outdoor fan motor is malfunctioning, you might hear a screeching sound. You may also hear this noise if there is a damaged blower fan motor inside of the house. If you hear this sound, you should have it checked out soon because your air conditioner won’t be able to function if an indoor or outdoor fan goes out completely. If you’re unsure about which fan is causing the noise, track it to its source, which will either be the inside AC unit or the outdoor AC unit.

Bubbling Sounds

A bubbling sound is a good indication that there might be a blockage or hole in your drain line. The drain hose empties the moisture that the air conditioner pulls from the air into your house into a drain or out to the side of the house.

If you find a hole, there’s also a good chance that you’re going to find water somewhere, and you’ll need to replace the hose. But if you hear a bubbling sound and don’t think that you have a hole in the hose, you might have a blockage. In this case, find where the hose empties, which can be either a drain on the basement floor or on the side of the house. Then, take a wet vac and use it to suck out whatever is clogging the line.


If you hear a hissing sound, there’s a good chance that you’re hearing the sound of air leaking through the ductwork. As air is forced through the metal ducts, small holes and cracks in the metal can cause sounds, and it also means that you’re paying a lot more for your energy costs because the air isn’t making it to various parts of your home that you’re hoping that it will make it to.

What to Do If the Noises Aren’t From a Broken Unit

If your air conditioner is loud but there’s nothing explicitly wrong with it, you might have an older model, or you might have a model that was installed in the wrong place. Older models tend to be louder because we’ve come a long way in terms of the design of our air conditioners. But you might also be interested to know that there are some things that you can do about this.

One of the best ways of muffling the sounds that come from your air conditioner is to use an air conditioner blanket, which is a blanket that will cover up the sound waves so that they don’t travel as far. You can also use a fence to block out some of the noises. If you choose this second option, use either wood or vinyl as your fence material to absorb the sound. You should also choose either a slatted or lattice design so that there’s still enough airflow to the air conditioner.

Putting in a new air conditioner is a big investment, so if you need to do it because your current one is old or you didn’t have one before, you should be careful about the placement to ensure that you hear it as little as possible. One of the biggest things that you should avoid when choosing the placement of your outside unit is any place that’s right next to a brick wall because this particular type of surface is too hard, so the sound waves will bounce off the wall and be projected. You should also try to avoid any place that’s near a window to a living space, such as the living room or bedroom. And you’ll be especially happy during parties if you place your air conditioner away from the patio area.

As for the indoor unit on an air conditioner, if you’re hearing vibrations from your attic, you should check to see if the indoor unit is vibrating on the floor. If it is, there are mats that you can put down to muffle the vibrations.

When you’re looking for a way to cut down on the noise that comes from your air conditioner, you should check to ensure that there isn’t anything wrong with your cooling system, but you can find other ways to reduce the sounds that you hear on a daily basis, too. Reach out to Oak Island Heating and Air Conditioning in San Marcos to learn more about the outstanding services that we offer, including indoor air quality solutions and heating and cooling repairs, maintenance, and installations.

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