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Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning Blog

5 AC Noises You Don’t Want to Hear


Your air conditioner makes very few sounds as a part of normal operation. And the sounds you do hear should be neither loud nor alarming. If you do you hear any unusual sounds coming from your air conditioner, that should be a red flag. 

It’s time to schedule air conditioning repair in Gresham, OR. You can give our team a call today if you have any concerns about how your air conditioner is operating based on unusual sounds you’ve heard. You can also keep reading to learn more about the top five AC noises we get calls about and what they mean for your air conditioner.


There are very few times that you should hear a rattling sound coming from your air conditioner. If you do, it will only happen when temperatures are changing and your ductwork is either expanding or contracting because of these temperature changes. If you do hear rattling for this reason, it will be very subtle and should subside quickly.

Hearing rattling at any other time, especially loud rattling, is a problem. It is even more alarming if you hear a rattling in your outdoor unit because it could mean that something is loose in the motor. A persistent or loud rattling sound is always a good reason to call and schedule service for your air conditioner.


Tapping is another sound that should be a red flag. Usually, tapping sounds are caused by something getting caught in one of the blower fan blades. The tapping may mimic the sound of something being stuck in a bicycle tire’s spokes. Depending on the size of the object that is stuck, this tapping sound may be quieter or louder. But no matter how loud or soft the sound is, it’s always worth getting checked out.

Persistent Clicking

Your air conditioner will click when it turns on and off for cooling cycles. However, you should not hear the clicking persistently. If you do, it could mean that your air conditioner is having a problem turning on or staying on to complete a cooling cycle. Clicking can be a very subtle sound and one that is easy to ignore. You may not think it’s a big deal, but anything to do with the motor inside of your air conditioner could lead to a very expensive repair. It’s always better to have whatever service technicians take a look at your air conditioner to be safe.


Screeching is another sound that can indicate motor problems. Usually screeching happens when lubrication wears down so that parts are grinding against each other instead of working together effortlessly. A screeching sound can be very alarming, and rightfully so. Allowing two metal parts to grind against each other can cause a lot of damage inside the system.


Hearing a banging sound is very similar to hearing a rattling sound because it can indicate that something is loose. However, when you hear banging, it usually means that something has broken completely free and is banging around the inside of the air conditioner unit.

This is dangerous because a component knocking around can do a lot of damage to other areas of your air conditioner. Instead of repairing or replacing a single part, you may be left making major repairs to your air conditioner as a result of the problem

For HVAC, indoor air quality, and water heater services, look no further than the team who is “Connecting People to Comfort” – Clawson Heating & Air Conditioning. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!

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