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Hearing noises from your Staunton home’s AC and what could be happening

HVAC System
Old Air Conditioner

Air conditioning units today are a lot quieter than they used to be. Most of the newer AC units are using sound-dampening technology as well as two-stage compressors. This is to make sure that the noise level is below 55 decibels. This technology prevents you typically from hearing noises, so if you start to hear any, you know that there is a problem. If you hear a noise coming from your unit, this could be a sign it needs to be checked out.

If you do not seek out help, the noises can go from being just a minor inconvenience to a significant financial expense. The minor issues could include anything from a small check-up to an entire system replacement. Making sure you are calling us for help as soon as you hear noise is essential.

We have included a list of possible noises that your HVAC unit could make and what they mean.


If your HVAC unit is making a high-pitched screaming or whistling sound, immediately turn off the unit. This noise is most likely caused by a leak in the refrigeration system. This not only damages your unit but also puts your family at risk. The screaming sound could also be caused by a high amount of pressure inside the compressor. The sensors that are in your unit may have an automatic shut off which is a good thing. However, make sure that even if it shuts down on its own, you still give us a call to come out and look at it


A buzzing sound coming from your unit could mean a handle full of things, including the following:

  • Loose machine parts
  • Leaves or other debris could be caught in the blades
  • The air filter may need to be changed
  • The fan blades could be out of balance
  • The condenser and its coils need to be cleaned


If your unit begins to make a clanking sound, usually this means that there is a part that is loose or out of balance. This could mean that the parts inside of the unit could be out of place or that the compressor has possibly become loose. Another issue that could be happening is that the outdoor fan or the indoor blower and its blades are out of balance and could be hitting other parts. This could be an issue that gets worse the longer you wait to call us.

Professional technician maintaining modern air conditioner indoors


A banging sound is almost always a sign that a part is loose or broken inside of the HVAC unit. This could be the piston pin, crankshaft, or even a connecting rod. These are commonly found to be the issues inside of the air compressor. This also could be an issue with the compressor, and you should make sure you call us so we can give you a proper assessment of your unit.

The issues that we have listed above are just some that you may hear from your air conditioning unit. If you hear any of these, we highly recommend turning off your unit. Also, contact us immediately so we can send someone out as soon as possible to inspect your unit. Some of these issues, if they go ignored, could make a simple fix turn into a more significant problem that could put your whole HVAC system at risk. If you have any further questions about your air conditioning unit or the noises it may be making, feel free to contact us at Neuhaus Heating and Air Conditioning.

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