Howling noise

I have a 2003 V8 Ford Explorer with over 102,000 miles. When the air conditioning is engaged and I accelerate from a neutral position, the car makes a howling noise. What might be the cause of that noise?

Could be the AC compressor.

Put your head under the hood, rev the engine manually with the AC engaged, and see if you can tell where the howling is coming from.

Or maybe the belt running the A/C

If the noise is made when the car is in “park”, it’s an AC component (compressor like previously stated). If not, it’s probably a belt.