Why Does My Air Conditioner Make a Loud Noise When Starting?

Just like any other device in your house, an AC is not immune to damage or wear and tear due to continued use. This means that after several years of use, you might notice some changes in your unit’s operations – although this might happen even sooner.

One such issue common with air conditioners is the presence of loud noise when your unit is starting up. And that’s what this piece intends to tackle. What might be the reason your air conditioner makes loud noise when starting? Is it something to worry about?

Well, there are several reasons behind the loud noise. Let’s explore some of the major ones that you should take into consideration.

Top Reasons your Air Conditioner Makes Loud Noise When Starting

Generally, the type of noise that your AC produces can easily tell you what its cause is. So, be keen on the noise type.

Here are the main causes of the loud noise:

1. Collusion between the Air Filter and the Return Grille

A return grille is the point of contact where the warm air, drawn from your house, reaches or enters the Air conditioner.  As usual, the air must first pass through the air filter to sieve off any dust particles and any other contaminants.

If the air filter is loose or it’s not the right size, you might notice a loud slamming noise when the unit starts or stops. But what causes the noise?

Firstly, the AC is pulling air in for cooling. In case of a loose air filter, it will be sucked upwards, slamming on the upper wall of the enclosure. Also, when you turn off the AC, the air filter is left to fall back to its original place, hitting the ground wall again, resulting in another loud noise.

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How to solve this:

The ideal solution here is to call an HVAC expert. The professional will determine if it’s a loose AC filter causing the noise or if you have a wrong-sized filter. And, they will certainly offer a solution.

2. Electrical Issues

Even a properly functioning AC is not 100% silent. It produces slight clicking/grinding sounds. Generally, the clicking sounds emanate from the unit’s condenser fan, which is pretty normal.

However, when these sounds occur when the device is starting, or they become significantly loud, the AC might be experiencing some electrical issues. And this needs to be checked instantly.

How to Fix:

Unless you are quite savvy with HVAC units, consulting an HVAC expert is your best bet. They will identify the issue and offer the best solution. If you attempt to repair such issues yourself, you might cause even more damage to your unit, leading to costly repairs.

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3. Loose Blower Fan

The AC works by pulling in warm air from indoors, cooling it down, and blowing it back into the house to cool the environment. The blower fan is responsible for pulling warm air into the AC. And, if the fan mount is somewhat loose, the blower wheel might start banging on the metal casing, causing a loud noise.

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How to Fix:

Make sure that the blower fan is fitted well by tightening any loose connections. Or, you can call for an expert if you are safety-conscious or if you want a better job done.

4. A Faulty Compressor

As noted earlier, an AC will produce some noise even when functioning optimally. But what if there is some screaming noise coming from the unit, especially when starting? Your compressor might be the culprit.

If you hear a loud, high-pitched, scream-like noise, there’s certainly a problem. You might also notice that your AC keeps shutting off too often. In this case, it’s faulty and needs immediate attention.

How to Fix It:

If your air conditioner compressor makes loud noise when starting, calling a technician is the best thing to do. However, if you are well-versed with AC units, you can try to diagnose and fix the problem yourself.

5. Faulty Outdoor Coil

Have you noticed any whistling sound from your AC? The chances are that your unit’s outdoor coil is faulty.

Usually, this happens if the refrigerant in this coil isn’t flowing properly. This way, the refrigerant is trapped in insulation pockets between pipes. And, as trapped air heats up and expands, it obstructs the cool liquid nearby.

The result of this is a loud whistling sound, which should alert you to immediate action. Engaging a qualified technician is the best route to fixing this issue.

6. Dampers Issues

If your AC unit has dampers, they might be the reason your central air conditioner makes loud noise when starting.  Generally, dampers are designed to control the flow of cool air to the different rooms or cooling zones in the house.

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If the dampers have issues, they might make loud noises as they open or close. You can check out the issue yourself or include the help of a qualified technician to diagnose and sort out the problem.

7. Condenser Fan Problems

Sometimes, the condenser fan might not be hooked to the compressor properly. In such a case, it will make noise whenever the fan moves.

Noise from the condenser fan will be louder when the AC starts, and the fan starts to rotate. So, if you were still wondering why your home air conditioner makes loud noise when starting, you might want to check this fan first.

But if you are not conversant on how to handle the issue, call your maintenance company or technician to have the issue resolved.

8. Water Inside the Outdoor Coil

If your central air conditioner makes loud noise when starting, your outdoor coil may be filled with water. Usually, this problem comes about if dirt and debris clog and block the condensate drain line, preventing proper draining of the condensate. Also, if the condensation pump isn’t working, this issue might still arise.

In this case, you’ll notice gurgling or banging sounds whenever your AC starts. In addition, a collapsed drain line will also lead to a gurgling noise when the AC is starting up. Your best solution to any of these issues is to contact a qualified HVAC technician like Direct Air to have your system examined. Get in touch with us to make sure your AC is running optimally and like it should be.

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