My AC Makes Lots of Noise – How Do I Fix It?

An AC system by design is meant to operate quietly so that it doesn’t disrupt the other activities within the home. If your children are studying or you have guests in the living room, a noisy AC can be annoying and to some extent embarrassing. If your AC is making noise and you are wondering what the problem could be, read along to get some insights on how this can be fixed.

The noise levels of AC units are dependent on the type and model; the older models usually make relatively higher noise compared to the modern models which are fitted with state-of-the-art components. Even with all these noises, there should be a clear distinction between the normal operational noise and the kind of noise that indicates a problem within the AC. By listening to the type of noise coming out of your system, you should be able to tell or at least an expert should tell what the problem is.

While some of the AC units may start giving strange noises at the onset of problems, some of them produce these noises when they are in advance stages of whatever issue they have. This post will discuss some of the common sources of noise and how they can be addressed.

Noisy Fans

Fans that produce a harsh humming or rattling noise may indicate a loose end or accumulation of dirt that requires cleaning. The best approach is to open the air conditioner cabinet to locate where the fan making the noise is. Remove any debris around the blades and see whether there will be any changes. If the blade is loose, you should immediately tighten the screw located at the hub with an Allen wrench or a screwdriver. Also confirm the straightness of the fan blades. Crooked or bent blades may touch the inside of the unit when rotating thereby giving a rattling noise.

Un-Lubricated Parts

Your AC motor and any other running component within your AC system requires to be lubricated regularly. If this doesn’t happen, the motor may start emitting a grinding or humming noise. If your unit has unsealed motors, you should be able to directly apply the lubrication which is usually in the form of SAE 10 oil. Ensure you oil your motors at the beginning of every summer.

Loose Screws

When your AC starts working, it vibrates and this is enough to cause loosening of the screws with time. When screws in panels become loose, they can be a source of terrible noise coming from the AC. The mounting screws which usually hold the unit in place may also become loose as a result of the vibration. This often produces a rattling noise whenever the AC is putting out air. By tightening the screws or replacing those whose threads are grounded off, you can fix this problem once and for all.

Clogged Coil Fins

When your AC operates, air moves in and out to ensure the basic operation of cooling your house is met. This air may at times come with dirt which escapes your filters and its final destination may be your coil fins. Dirty and clogged fins can make the unit become noisy. The best way to handle this is first of all to confirm whether it is your coils that are dirty and if so use a brush attachment and a vacuum cleaner to remove the debris and dirt. You may also have to straighten the coil fins using a fin comb in case they are bent.

These simple steps can save you money, time and the inconvenience of living with a noisy AC unit. Should the problem persist, contact a HVAC professional.

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