Hearing Noise in the AC? Let’s Do a Sound Check.

WIlburrr Mascot - Alaskan AC

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You may be noticing new sounds coming from your air conditioner if you are turning it on for the first. That means something has changed and that “something” needs technical troubleshooting.

There are sounds that the AC makes that are normal, but they are also some that are not. Knowing the difference can possibly save your system from an early retirement. Here are some sounds you may be hearing and what they may mean:

Bang Bang Bang or BANG! BANG! BANG!

Light banging may mean that something has come loose in the compressor like a rod or a piston. But, if it is BANG! BANG! BANG!, it could also be the compressor itself. Either way, this requires a check up from Alaskan Air to troubleshoot it.


A metal on metal screeching sound may mean you have worn out bearing in the fan motor. This requires a repair from Alaskan Air to fix.


A squealing sound may mean you have a misaligned or worn fan belt. It will need replacing by the professionals at Alaskan Air. High temperatures and dry heat, like we experience in Phoenix and Tucson, can wear on a fan belt and eventually cause it to break.

Click. Click. Click.

Like a playing card in the spokes of a bicycle, a clicking sound may mean you have a stick or some other obstruction that has fallen into the condensing unit and is hitting the fan blades. Try turning off the AC and clearing the obstruction. If that doesn’t work, you may have an electrical problem (especially if the AC will not turn back on). If that is the case, call Alaskan for a repair or estimate on a replacement.


A humming sound can be many things. While some humming is normal in heavy use periods, continuous humming is not. It could mean you have loose wires, an electrical problem, or a blower motor issue. Call Alaskan Air to troubleshoot the hum if it doesn’t go away on its own.

Whistling While it Works

A whistling or wheezing sounds may simply mean you need to change the air filter. Or, in heavy use periods like summers in the Phoenix and Tucson area, open those vents that you have closed too much to let airflow pass through. They are trying to pass more air through to those living spaces because the extreme heat has made it hotter in those spaces than normal.

If you are hearing more noises than normal or something just doesn’t sound right, use this guide to determine whether or not you should call for a repair or replacement by Alaskan Air Conditioning and Heating.