As a homeowner, you’re probably fairly confident that you know what noises your home should and should not be making. So, what do you do if you hear a sudden clicking noise from your air conditioner? It’s not ideal. While short-lived clocking can be a part of normal operation, if you’ve noticed the clicking keeps going, it is time to investigate. Here are the potential causes of air conditioner clicking.
1. Clicking from the Fan
The fan is often a source of a persistent clicking sound. Sometimes it is the result of a fan blade or two that is bent out of shape and knocking against the rest of the air conditioner as it rotates. Or, you may have something stuck near the fan, pinging against it as the blade turns. These repairs are fairly simple. Your HVAC contractor will go in and fix the blades or remove the debris.
2. Problems with Relays and Contacts
Your thermostat should turn the air conditioner on every so often. When it does, you may hear a normal clocking noise. However, if the air conditioner has damaged relays or contacts, then they may keep making this sound. Or, the issue may be the thermostat telling the air conditioner to turn on repeatedly. You will likely need an HVAC professional to get to the bottom of this one and determine which is the cause. Fixing relays and contacts can be simple. If the problem is the thermostat, it may need to be replaced.
3. Soft Rattles or Clanking
What if you hear a more aggressive kind of clicking that might be instead described as a rattle or clank? One common cause is that some part of the air conditioner has come loose and fallen to somewhere it will make noise, perhaps against the fan. This could signal a breakdown in the air conditioner, which needs every part to keep functioning properly. You should get a professional to solve this one quickly.
4. Freezing Problems
It may sound odd, but your air conditioner can actually get too cold. If there is a build-up of humidity and the air conditioner turns it to ice, it can freeze and may, or may not, making a kind of clicking noise as a result. The solution for this is typically to just turn off the air conditioner and let it thaw out. Although, if the problem happens again, you may need a professional to help you get to the root of the problem.
5. Quick and Soft Clicking
If the clicking sounds very fast and soft, almost more like buzzing than a mechanical click noise, then your air conditioner may have an electrical problem. Or, it may simply be that it is leaning against something or its feet are wearing thin, allowing it to vibrate against the floor.
While the problem may be simple, when any electrical issue is suspected you should always turn off your air conditioner and wait for the experts to come and assess the problem.