Noises From Your HVAC System To Look Out For

noises hvac system from house

If your car makes a funny noise, it raises suspicion. Listening for changes in the sound are very important for large machinery. Your air conditioning unit is no different. Although it might take a little more attention to detail in some cases, listening to your air conditioner for specific sounds can be very informative on the unit’s condition and performance. Regardless of the age of the machine, air conditioning systems can develop mechanical issues. When your air conditioner is operating normally, it should be silent. However, there are certain noises that may come from your air conditioner to keep an “ear” out for. These noises can indicate a problem and prompt getting repairs before a bigger issue arises.

Squealing and/or Screeching

While this noise is hard to ignore and can be tough on the ears, squealing or screeching can indicate a larger issue with your unit. This noise can indicate a bad belt or a motor bearing problem. Similar to a car, the belt will make a loud noise when it is either worn or about to break. Sometimes it is as simple as adding lubricant to the belt. It is important to replace belts before they break. When belts break, they can cause issues with the motor. While a belt may not be an expensive repair, motor repairs can be. It is best to get this looked at early on by a professional.


Clicking noises often occur when your machine turns on or off. If you hear repetitive clicking noises, then your unit may have an electrical issue. The noise may be a result of the control panel or outside compressor having an issue with the relay. Whether the relay is timing out or failing, it is important to get it checked out. 


When your fan turns on, if there is rattling sounds coming from inside, then there is an issue. There should not be any noises, especially rattling associated with this. Rattling can be the sign of loose hardware or an old, failing motor. The louder the sounds, oftentimes, the worse the issue. Loud screaming noises coming from the same area, your compressor might be failing. If there is a constant humming noise, this can indicate that the capacitor is starting to fail or the motor may be going bad.

“Clanking” or Banging

Just like rattling noises indicate a loose piece of hardware in the system, loud noises like nagging can indicate issues with the motor or assembly. If these noises begin, it is important to have them looked at immediately. If they are left alone, loose parts can cause more damage and more costly repairs. The part could break, disconnect completely, or cause damage to the surrounding components. If you hear these noises, have an expert look at the unit immediately.

Whipping Noises

Similar to the sound a card would make if left in the spokes of a bicycle wheel, a whipping noise indicates an issue with your HVAC unit. If you hear this noise while the blower is running, it could mean that something is stuck in the blades of the blower. Debris or something stuck in the blower blades may not be a severe issue, however, it can cause your unit to wear out significantly faster and be costly in repairs.

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