Is Your AC or Heat Pump Making A Buzzing Noise?

HVAC compressor on side of home

If you’ve noticed your air conditioner or heat pump is making noise, you’re likely searching for answers and solutions to restore peace and comfort to your environment. In this article, we’ll delve into the common causes of an AC or heat pump making a buzzing noise and provide you with actionable advice to help you diagnose and fix the problem.This will help you achieve a better cooling experience. Contact Mode Comfort for help with your AC or heat pump!

Buzzing Noises

These sounds might indicate electrical problems, such as a failing contactor relay switch, which is responsible for starting the motor and compressor. Over time, these switches can wear out and create an audible buzzing noise as they struggle to perform their function. Loose wiring or circuit breakers can also contribute to an AC or heat pump making buzzing noises and poses a potential safety hazard. Another culprit could be the condenser fan motor, which helps to dissipate heat from your AC or heat pump unit. If the bearings in the motor are worn out or if the fan blades are obstructed, an AC or heat pump buzzing sound may occur. Always consider consulting with a licensed HVAC professional to accurately diagnose and solve the problem. If you are looking for Air conditioner service and installation help in Richmond, Virginia, look no further than Mode Comfort. We can help you with any of your HVAC concerns. 

Clanking Sounds

If you notice a clanking noise from your air conditioning unit or heat pump, it’s a sign that there might be a larger component that has become loose or is malfunctioning. Even a simple issue, such as a loose fan blade hitting other parts, can result in a clanking sound. To mitigate the risk of causing further damage to your AC or heat pump, it’s critical to turn off the system immediately and inspect it. Loose parts must be tightened or replaced by a qualified technician. 

Clinking Sounds

If your AC or heat pump is making a clinking noise, it often indicates that there’s a loose or displaced part within the system, such as a loose fan blade, a stray screw, or debris. One of the most common causes for this sound could be the air conditioner or heat pump’s outdoor fan or the indoor blower hitting some form of obstruction. To fix this, ensure your AC or heat pump is turned off. You can then inspect the unit for any visible signs of damage or debris. If you’re familiar with the internal components of AC or heat pump units, you might be able to tighten or remove the offending object yourself. However, for those not comfortable with DIY repair, it’s best to call a professional HVAC technician. Contact Mode Comfort if you do not feel comfortable dissecting your HVAC issues. 

Banging Noises

If you hear an air conditioner or heat pump making a banging noise it’s a clear sign that something inside the system may be broken or loose. The most common culprit is often a disconnected or unbalanced part within the compressor. These components can become dislodged due to wear and tear, causing them to knock against other parts of the compressor. Another possible issue could be a failing blower motor or a foreign object trapped in the air conditioning or heat pump unit, which can create a loud banging or clattering sound as the system runs. Having an HVAC technician replace these parts can solve these issues. 

Squealing Sounds

This high-pitched noise on a squealing air conditioner or heat pump is commonly caused by a belt that has slipped out of place or is wearing down over time. It could also signify that the bearings in the fan motor are failing. If you’re dealing with a belt-related issue, a simple adjustment or replacement might be sufficient to silence the squeal. In cases where the fan motor bearings are at fault, you might need to lubricate the bearings or have the motor replaced by a professional.

Humming Noise

Is your air conditioner or heat pump humming? This could indicate an electrical problem, such as a faulty contactor relay switch which engages the system’s compressor and fan. Things that can also lead to an AC or heat pump making a humming noise are loose parts, a malfunctioning compressor or refrigerant piping pressure. When fixing this, start by turning off your AC or heat pump unit and examining any accessible components for obvious signs of wear or damage. Tightening loose screws or bolts may resolve the issue if the problem is as simple as a loose part. If the issue isn’t readily apparent or if it lies within a component like the compressor, call a professional HVAC technician. When you hear your air conditioner or heat pump’s loud humming it’s important to check it and solve the issue.

HVAC taken apart with tools on top

Hissing Noise 

If your AC or heat pump is making a hissing noise, it could indicate that there is a refrigerant leak or high internal pressure within your AC or heat pump system. The refrigerant, typically a gas such as Freon, is essential for the cooling process and leaks can severely impair the performance of your AC or heat pump unit. Apart from the hissing noise, you might also notice your air conditioning or heat pump unit is not blowing cold air or that ice is forming on the refrigerant lines. To address this, it’s important to shut off your AC or heat pump unit to prevent further damage and call a certified HVAC technician who can safely repair the leak and replenish the refrigerant levels. Remember, handling refrigerant and repairs should only be done by professionals due to the potential health and safety risks involved. At Mode Comfort, our trained professionals know how to tackle these issues with care.  

Get Help From an AC Servicing Professional

HVAC tech smiling

If your AC or heat pump is making a buzzing noise, it’s a clear indicator that something within the system requires attention. Continuing to operate your AC or heat pump could lead to further damage or even a complete breakdown. Before you’re left with no cooling on the hottest day of the year, seeking the expertise of a certified HVAC professional is essential. Reaching out to the professionals at Mode Comfort will ensure you have a thorough inspection of your unit, making sure that all components are in proper working order and that your air conditioning or heat pump system is operating at peak efficiency. Call us at 804-481-6633 to get help from Mode Comfort today!


Why is my AC or heat pump making an annoying sound?

If your AC or heat pump unit is buzzing every few minutes, it might be something as simple as loose parts vibrating when the system is running. Alternatively, the buzzing could stem from electrical concerns such as a malfunctioning contactor relay switch, which engages the system to start cooling. Outdoor unit fan blades that are misaligned or obstructed can also produce a buzzing sound when they come into contact with other components. A refrigerant leak not only causes noise but can lead to decreased efficiency and potential harm to the environment. 

What does a bad AC or heat pump compressor sound like?

Take a look at the various sounds discussed above to see if your AC or heat pump is having any issues. Regardless of the sound, getting a HVAC technician to check out your system can help you avoid the risk of costly repairs. Call Mode Comfort at 804-481-6633 and we can observe and explain any strange sounds you may hear. 

When to Replace a Noisy Air Conditioner or Heat Pump?

You may not need to replace an AC or heat pump unit that’s buzzing every few minutes! There can be many causes for buzzing in your AC or heat pump that can be remedied. 

Which is the most common source of abnormal noises in an air conditioner or heat pump?

Many factors can contribute to a buzzing noise coming from an air conditioner or heat pump, but the most common culprit is typically related to electrical issues. 

Why is my AC or heat pump so loud inside my house?

The loud buzzing of an AC or heat pump unit can be an indicator of several issues, ranging from minor annoyances to more serious problems that need immediate attention. In the article above we discuss the common sounds you may be hearing and how to tackle them.

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