It's Our 15th Birthday, & We're Celebrating YOU! Read More

Skip navigation

Serving Pinellas, Pasco, and Hillsborough Counties


The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. Blog

The Sounds to Expect From Your Air Conditioner


We’ve talked before about the warning sounds from an air conditioner that will tell you when it’s time to call our technicians for AC repair in Tampa, FL. Strange and unusual noises coming from any part of a split system air conditioner are a reason for concern, and the faster you move to have the AC inspected and repaired, the less risk of the air conditioning system suddenly breaking down or developing a more expensive repair issue.

But “strange” and “unusual” are relative—what do they actually mean? We can describe these noises to you, but we can also describe the sounds you should expect to hear from an air conditioning system when it’s running as it should. So to put a positive spin on AC repairs, here are the customary noises you’ll hear from your air conditioner this summer when it’s doing the job you need from it.

The blowing of air

This is the main sound you’ll hear from your air conditioning system when you’re indoors. Technically, it’s the blower fan for the HVAC system, which will also run when the furnace is on if you have both a furnace and AC packaged in one cabinet (which is true of the majority of homes). The blower fan draws air through return ducts, sends it through AC for cooling and then into the supply ducts. You can expect to hear this when the AC is in “fan-only” mode as well.

The hum of the compressor

When the air conditioner starts its cooling cycle, you’ll hear a thunk sound from the outdoor condenser cabinet, followed by the hum of the compressor as it starts the job of circulating refrigerant through the AC. This is the noise you expect to hear from a healthy AC as it begins to cool your house. You’ll probably only notice it when you’re outdoors, however. If you turn on your AC and you only get room temperature air, go to the condenser outside to listen for the compressor. If it’s not running, you’ll know to call technicians and tell them you think there’s a compressor problem.

The drip and splash of water

This is another indoor air conditioning sound. You might wonder why the AC has the sound of water in it when it doesn’t use water to run. This is water moisture dripping off the evaporator coil and down into a shallow condensate pan, where it is then drawn through a drain line to the outside. This moisture develops on the coil as the refrigerant evaporates as part of the cooling process. The condensate drainage system removes this water so it won’t cause damage. If your AC has a “dry” mode to help with dehumidification you may hear this sound more often.


When your AC powers down after a cooling cycle, you can expect to hear some clicking sounds from the cabinets. This is normal: it’s just the mechanical parts powering down. You’ll hear a similar clicking from a car engine as it settles. Clicking at other times, or continual, loud clicking, is a sound to worry about.

The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. serves our Tampa Bay family with integrity and honor. Call us whenever you need great air conditioning repair service.

Comments are closed.