Sounds your AC Shouldn’t Make

August 23, 2019

Summer heat can make your air conditioner work overtime. Most AC units make noise when they start up, but there are some sounds your air conditioner shouldn’t make. The AC pros at Fred F. Collis want to make sure you don’t ignore these early warning signs that you might need an AC tune-up or AC repair.

What IS That Noise?

If you notice an unusual sound it’s often helpful to have a description of the sound to determine the next steps to keep your AC functioning as it should. With 80 years of experience servicing heating and cooling systems in the Rome, Utica and surrounding Mohawk Valley area, the cooling experts at Fred F. Collis have heard all sorts of noise reports. So don’t be embarrassed if we ask you to describe that unusual sound. It’ll help to diagnose the potential problem!

We’ve collected the most common AC sounds to alert you to what they could indicate:


It’s normal to hear a distinct click when your AC starts up or shuts off. But if the clicking keeps going after the AC has been running for a bit, it could be a faulty electronic switch or relay. It’s worth contacting us to arrange a service call so we can check your wiring and circuits.


Buzzing is a common sound that can be a minor — or a more serious—problem. The first step is to identify where the buzzing sound is coming from: your outside unit or the inside air handler. The source of the buzzing may not be too serious: for example, debris or dirt in the condenser unit, loose parts or a dirty air filter. More serious causes for buzzing sounds may be an off-balance blower, a failing fan or a refrigerant leak. We can help you identify the source, and determine whether it’s serious or minor. Contact your local Utica AC experts at Fred F. Collis for an AC maintenance appointment.


Like buzzing, rattling noises could indicate loose debris or parts. In the worst case rattling could be a symptom of a failing compressor motor. It’s a good idea to turn the system off and place an AC service call to Rome NY AC experts at Fred F. Collis.

Thumping or Banging

If your central air is making loud thumping or banging sounds, turn it off right away! The culprit could be loose parts in the compressor motor, including the crankshaft, pistons or rods. Other causes might be the AC assembly of blower motor. Like with most motor-driven systems, neglecting more serious sounds like thumping and banging caused by loose or broken parts in the motor could result in unsafe operation, and an eventual breakdown of the entire system. It’s time to place a call for cooling repair with your local HVAC contractor in Rome, Fred F. Collis.


Your air conditioner likely makes a high pitched squealing sound when it starts up, but if the squeal is prolonged or louder than normal, it’s probably time for a service call from Fred F. Collis. The source of the squeal could be an indication that either the outdoor fan or indoor blower motor is failing. Another cause of unusual squealing could be a blower wheel and it’s housing.

Some AC Sounds May Signal a Need for Cooling Replacement

If your AC is making all the wrong sounds, it may be time for AC replacement—especially if your central air system is 10-15 years old. The good news is that the latest AC options are very efficient and will save energy and money. If you live in the Utica or Rome NY areas, and it’s time for a new AC installation, count on your local HVAC contractors Fred F. Collis for expert replacement with top quality Carrier cooling products. Some homeowners opt for ductless mini-splits to supplement cooling in extra rooms, or additions. These mini-splits are easily installed and don’t require bulky ductwork. Plus they also provide heat in the winter!

The bottom line is if your AC is making sounds, you’ll be in professional and experienced hands with the local Rome & Utica cooling experts at Fred F. Collis.

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