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Got an Air Conditioner Cough? Here’s How To Get Rid Of It

You might be quick in installing an air conditioner to create a pleasant indoor atmosphere, but they can sometimes cause an unwelcome side effect referred to as the “air conditioner cough”. This condition manifests as throat irritation, persistent coughing, or even difficulty in breathing, particularly in individuals with respiratory sensitivities.

In this article, we’ll explore the phenomenon often referred to as the “air conditioner cough” and provide you with practical solutions to silence it.

The Mystery of the Air Conditioner Cough

Before we delve into the solutions, let’s understand what the “air conditioner cough” actually is. It’s a term used to describe the noise produced by your air conditioner when something is amiss in its operation. 

This sound can vary from a gentle wheeze to a more pronounced hacking noise. While it might not be a cause for immediate panic, it’s crucial to address it promptly to prevent any potential issues from escalating.

Potential Causes of the Air Conditioner Cough

To effectively combat the air conditioner cough, you need to identify its root causes. Here are some common culprits:

  • Dirty Air Filters: Clogged or dirty air filters can restrict airflow, causing your air conditioner to work harder and produce unusual noises.
  • Debris in the Ducts: Debris or foreign objects in the ductwork can obstruct airflow, leading to cough-like sounds as air is forced through narrow passages.
  • Loose Parts: Over time, the vibrations and movements of your air conditioner can loosen internal components, resulting in rattling or coughing noises.
  • Refrigerant Leaks: A refrigerant leak can cause gurgling or hissing sounds as the refrigerant escapes through small openings.
  • Condensation Issues: Improper condensation drainage can lead to water buildup in the unit, producing dripping or bubbling sounds.

How to Get Rid of an Air Conditioner Cough

Now that we’ve identified potential causes, let’s explore how to silence that air conditioner cough:

A Sick Man Covering His Mouth

Change the Air Filters

Start with the basics. Check your air filters and replace them if they’re dirty or clogged. Clean filters allow for better airflow and can significantly reduce noise.

Clear the Ducts

Inspect the ductwork for any obstructions or debris. Cleaning or removing blockages can restore proper airflow and eliminate coughing sounds.

Regular Maintenance

To prevent future bouts of the air conditioner cough, schedule regular maintenance with a certified technician. They can identify and address potential issues before they become noisy nuisances.

When to Call a Professional

While many causes of the air conditioner cough can be resolved through simple maintenance, there are instances where professional intervention is necessary. Consider contacting an HVAC technician in the following situations:

  • Persistent Noise: If the coughing sound persists after performing basic maintenance, a professional assessment is needed.
  • Refrigerant Leaks: Refrigerant leaks should always be handled by a certified technician due to their potential hazards.
  • Complex Repairs: If the issue involves intricate components or wiring, it’s best left to the experts to avoid further complications.
  • Warranty Concerns: If your air conditioner is under warranty, it’s advisable to have a professional handle any repairs to avoid voiding the warranty.


The air conditioner cough can be an unsettling experience, but it’s often a symptom of common issues that can be resolved. Regular maintenance and addressing issues promptly are key to enjoying a quiet and efficient air conditioning system. 

By following the steps mentioned above and seeking professional help when necessary, you can eliminate the cough and bask in the cool, peaceful comfort of your home once again