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Residential AC Units

Why is My AC Louder Than Normal?

June 4, 2024

As summer approaches and temperatures start to rise, a fully functioning air conditioner becomes essential for comfort. However, nothing disrupts the peace like a noisy AC unit. If you’ve found yourself asking, “Why is my AC so loud?” or “Why is my AC unit so loud?” you’re not alone. There are several reasons why an air conditioner might produce more noise than usual. In this blog, we’ll explore some common causes and provide tips on how to address them.

Common Causes of a Loud AC Unit

Loose Parts

Over time, the components within your air conditioner can become loose. This is often due to regular wear and tear. When parts like screws, bolts, or panels are loose, they can create a rattling or banging noise when the unit is operating. Regular maintenance checks can help identify and tighten any loose parts, preventing these noises.

Fan Issues

The fan is a crucial part of your AC unit, responsible for moving air over the evaporator coil and outside to the condenser. If the fan blades are bent, damaged, or loose, they can produce a loud noise. Additionally, if the motor that drives the fan is failing, it can also cause the fan to operate noisily. Inspecting the fan blades and motor can help identify any issues that need to be addressed.

Compressor Problems

The compressor is the heart of your air conditioning system, and it can be a significant source of noise if something is wrong. A failing compressor can create a loud banging or clanking sound. If you hear such noises, it’s crucial to get the compressor inspected by a professional technician as soon as possible. Ignoring this issue can lead to more extensive damage and costly repairs.

Refrigerant Leaks

Low refrigerant levels can cause your AC unit to produce a hissing or bubbling sound. This is often a sign of a refrigerant leak. Not only can this lead to a noisy unit, but it can also reduce the efficiency of your air conditioner, making it work harder to cool your home. A professional technician can locate and repair the leak, ensuring your system operates smoothly.

Debris in the Unit

Outdoor AC units are exposed to the elements, and it’s not uncommon for debris like leaves, twigs, or dirt to find their way into the system. This debris can obstruct the fan or other components, causing unusual noises. Regular cleaning and maintenance can prevent debris from accumulating and causing problems.

Dirty Coils

Both the evaporator and condenser coils can accumulate dirt and grime over time. When these coils are dirty, the AC unit has to work harder to transfer heat, which can cause the system to make more noise. Cleaning the coils can improve efficiency and reduce noise.

Ductwork Issues

Sometimes, the noise might not be coming from the AC unit itself but from the ductwork. Loose or uninsulated ducts can create a banging or popping sound when air flows through them. Inspecting the ductwork and ensuring it is properly secured and insulated can help minimize these noises.

Age of the Unit

An aging AC unit can naturally become noisier over time. Components wear out, and the system may not operate as quietly as it once did. If your unit is older and consistently noisy, it might be time to consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient model.

How to Address a Noisy AC Unit

Regular Maintenance

One of the best ways to prevent and address noise issues is through regular maintenance. Schedule annual tune-ups with a professional HVAC technician to ensure all components are in good working condition. During these check-ups, technicians can tighten loose parts, clean coils, and inspect the system for any potential problems.

Cleaning the Unit

Keep the area around your outdoor unit clean and free from debris. Regularly clean the coils and ensure the fan blades are free from dirt and obstructions.

Professional Inspection

If you’re unable to identify the source of the noise or if the noise persists despite regular maintenance, it’s essential to contact a professional HVAC technician. They have the expertise to diagnose and repair more complex issues, ensuring your system runs quietly and efficiently.

Consider Upgrading

If your AC unit is old and frequently noisy, investing in a new, energy-efficient model might be the best solution. Modern units are designed to operate more quietly and efficiently, providing better comfort with less noise.


A noisy air conditioner can be more than just an annoyance; it can be a sign of underlying issues that need attention. By understanding the common causes of a loud AC unit and taking proactive steps to address them, you can ensure your system runs smoothly and quietly.

If you’re still asking, “Why is my AC so loud?” or “Why is my AC unit so loud?” and need professional assistance, don’t hesitate to reach out to Lickety-Split for all your plumbing, electrical, and HVAC needs. Our experienced technicians are here to help keep your home comfortable and quiet. Contact us today to schedule service.

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