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RKM Heating and Air Conditioning Blog

That Noise Is Not Good!

Unusual noises coming from your air conditioner can be very alarming. The good news is that the sounds are a warning sign that something is wrong with your air conditioner. When you pay attention to these sounds and address problems early, you can avoid most major air conditioner problems. 

When you need to schedule AC repair in Riverside, give our team a call. We are the AC experts in the area and we are ready to help. We can help you determine what the cause of unusual noises and get down to the root of the problem, fixing it so it doesn’t happen again in the future. You can keep reading to learn more about five unusual air conditioning noises that you might hear and what they could mean. 

Hissing or Bubbling

One of the top problems that we see with air conditioners is a refrigerant leak. Refrigerant cycles through the lines and alternates between being a gas and being a liquid. There can be holes in either portion of the line. A hissing sound can indicate that you have a refrigerant line leak where the refrigerant isn’t its gas form. A bubbling sound can indicate that the refrigerant is in its liquid form where there is a leak in the line. Either one of these issues should be a major concern since refrigerant is a dangerous chemical to touch or breathe in.


If you hear a crackling sound come from your air conditioner, you may feel alarmed. Sometimes this crackling sound comes from the thin material of ductwork gently expanding and contracting with temperature changes. It’s perfectly fine to hear a crackling or rattling sound once in a while. 

However, hearing the sound persistently can mean that ductwork is loose. It can also mean that something inside of your air conditioner is wrong if the crackling sound comes from inside the unit instead of where you have your ductwork. Either way, it’s definitely something you want to get addressed sooner rather than later.


Banging should be a pretty obvious sign that something is wrong with your air conditioner. Your AC should not bang as a part of normal everyday operation. A banging sound means that something large inside of your air conditioner is loose and knocking against a side of the unit or another component. 

The banging sound can originate from inside your home or from the outdoor unit that sits outside your home. Either way, you want to get down to the source of the banging sound, and solve the problem before it continues on and leads to your air conditioner breaking down completely.


And when it comes to quieter sounds, buzzing can be a little more difficult to identify. Buzzing can either be very quiet or very loud. If it’s quiet, it may come from isolation feet on the AC unit being off-balance. Even just a millimeter or two can lead to a loose isolation foot buzzing as operation causes vibrations.

A louder buzzing sound may come from your compressor or capacitor. It’s possible that electrical problems can cause a buzzing sound from either of these places. Our team may have to do some troubleshooting to pinpoint the exact cause, but once we do we can solve it and make sure it doesn’t happen again in the future.


You might hear your air conditioner click a few times when it first turns on for a cooling cycle or when it is turning off at the end of a cooling cycle. Hearing clicking at any other time is a red flag that your air conditioner is not working the way it should. 

If your air conditioner continues to click after it turns on for a cooling cycle, that could mean that your unit is struggling to maintain a cooling cycle. Allowing the clicking to continue could put a lot of strain on your air conditioner as it struggles to cool your home. 

Contact RKM Heating and Air Conditioning today to schedule an appointment with us. Done Right, Priced Right.

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