Your Noisy Air Conditioner Compressor: It Has Something to Tell You

August 22, 2013

If your air conditioner's compressor is making a racket, listen closely - it's probably trying to tell you something. A noisy air conditioner compressor often signals impending troubles that will prove costly if ignored. To keep your air conditioner operating at peak efficiency, it pays to keep your ears open.

Evaluating a Noisy Air Conditioner Compressor

Diagnosing a noisy air conditioner compressor isn't as difficult as it might seem. Nevertheless, if you happen to hear any of the following noises coming from your air conditioning compressor, you should have the system checked promptly by a trusted A/C technician:

  • Banging or clanking sounds often indicate a loose internal component, such as a connecting rod or a piston pin.
  • Clanking or rattling sounds may indicate failure of the compressor motor mounts.
  • Clicking, rumbling or ticking sounds are often the cause of loose refrigerant tubing, loose bolts or a broken spring.
  • Constant clicking or buzzing noises may come from a failing electrical relay near the compressor.
  • Humming noises may indicate a low oil condition within the unit. Oil leakage may also be present near the compressor, although that's uncommon with hermetically sealed units.
  • It's normal to hear some slight squealing noises from the compressor, but if it gets louder with time, call a contractor as soon as possible.
  • If a noisy air conditioner compressor makes hissing or screaming sounds, turn the system off immediately. Excessive internal pressures may be building up within the unit, making it dangerously unsafe to operate.
  • A hissing sound likely signals a refrigerant leak; the louder the hiss, the bigger the problem.

Since most modern air conditioning compressors are sealed units, it's often necessary to replace this component with a brand-new compressor. It's best to leave diagnosis and repairs in the hands of a skilled and trusted contractor with the tools and professional know-how to do the job.

The professionals at Lozier Heating & Cooling can help you get to the bottom of a noisy air conditioner compressor. Since 1906, we have specialized in helping greater Des Moines residents solve their air conditioning issues.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater Des Moines, Iowa area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). Image courtesy of Shutterstock