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Does a Central Air Conditioner Make Noise?

This is a bit of a complicated question. There isn’t a machine on this planet that works silently, since the clicking and whirring of metal parts is pretty much synonymous with anything that actually works. If your car was completely silent when you twisted the key, you’d likely be concerned, right? The same thing goes with your central air conditioner. It’s supposed to make some kind of noise, like the gently woosh of air coming from the vents and the quiet hum of the compressor.

But there are also noises that your central AC in Monroeville, IN should never make. Things like grinding, buzzing, and squealing are all noises that are considered bad and can warrant a repair call. The hard part about this is that only homeowners are going to be the ones who make the call, so they need to be informed on what noises are good and which ones are bad.

The Good Noises of a Central Air Conditioner

Let’s start with some of the noises that are totally normal for an air conditioner to make. These sounds are common, and you should probably be concerned if your AC isn’t making these kinds of sounds.

  • The hum of the compressor. Did you know that one of the main reasons we keep the compressor outside is because it hums while it runs? That can be annoying for some people, but it’s a good sign that the unit is running properly.
  • The wooshing of air from vents. Air can make a sound as it rushes through the vents to the rooms of your home, this is normal.
  • The click of the system turning on. Every time the system turns on or off, you should hear a little “click” of the electrical system sending the signal.

The Bad Noises of a Central AC

Now, let’s get into some of the sounds that require a closer look or repair.

  • Bubbling or hissing. This sound is almost always a sign that the system is leaking refrigerant. An AC that doesn’t have proper refrigerant will run poorly and less efficiently.
  • Squealing. An air conditioner has a blower motor that uses a rubber belt to run correctly. When the belt starts to fray and all apart, it can start squealing, similarly to the squeal a car might make if it’s in dire need of maintenance.
  • Rattling or clanging. This could be either the sound of a broken part that’s come loose or the blower fan rubbing up against its cage.


Don’t worry, this subject can be a bit confusing for a lot of people. Sometimes a “shrieking” can sound like a “squealing” but really be a “humming” when a professional takes a look. These noises are going to differ slightly from system to system, and from situation to situation, so just contact our team if you’re ever confused. We’ll even be able to take a quick look and determine what should be done next!

Contact Collier’s Comfort to have your noisy air conditioner repaired by a team of qualified professionals. True Comfort, True Savings!

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