How to Slash Your Energy Bills This SummerJuly 10, 2019
How to Prevent the Most Common Causes of Air Conditioner ProblemsAugust 7, 2019
Your air conditioner provides sweet relief from the summer heat, but you could do without all the noise it makes. If your air conditioner has always been loud, you might not necessarily have a problem. However, if you’re suddenly hearing a strange air conditioner sound like banging, buzzing, whistling, screeching or rattling, it can signify a system that’s warning you of an impending ac repair service call.
The same is true of an A/C unit that’s running constantly or being louder than usual.
Common causes of air conditioner noise are related to:
- Damaged ducts or poor duct design
- Clogged filters
- Loose parts
- Bearings and belts
- Electrical problems
- Fan issues
- Damaged coils
Let’s examine the reasons behind the specific air conditioner noise you may be noticing, and what steps you can take to quiet your noisy air conditioner down.
What Is Your Air Conditioner Saying?
When your air conditioner is making noise, listening to the specific sound you’re hearing can provide a clue about what’s wrong with the equipment. Having that information can help you decide if you need to call a professional air conditioner repair tech immediately, or if you can hold off until your next maintenance appointment. If the problem is straightforward enough, you might even be able to take care of it yourself.
Whining and Whistling
Is your air conditioner whistling at you? The sounds it is making are not only annoying, but could also be a warning of airflow problems. Here are some of the ventilation issues related to your noisy air conditioner.
- Incompatible ducts and HVAC equipment: If you have had to replace pieces of your HVAC unit over the years, you can end up with mismatched components. For example, the ductwork might be restricting the airflow through the system, which could result in a whistling sound coming from your air conditioner vents.
- Duct damage: It’s common for ductwork to develop cracks and leaks over the years. Air can escape through these openings and produce a whistling sound.
- Clogged filters: Air filters, which are designed to catch dust, allergens and other particles and contaminants, will become full at some point. When the filters reach capacity, it can block the airflow, which will cause air conditioner noise. The good news is that changing or cleaning the filter is an easy DIY job.
Shaking and Rattling
Parts of your air conditioner that experience a lot of movement can shake their way loose and start to make rattling sounds. Motors and ducts are two of the most common culprits.
Your noisy air conditioner could also be the result of one or more of the screws in your A/C panels shaking loose. In that case, a screwdriver is all it might take to silence the rattling.
Your air conditioner unit itself might not be properly secured to its concrete base if a mounting screw has come loose. Though you might feel tempted to try and stabilize your noisy air conditioner by yourself if you’re handy around the house, it’s smarter to call in a trained HVAC professional to avoid the dangers of contact with hazardous chemicals and high-voltage electricity.
Squeaking, Squealing or Screeching
If you’re hearing high-pitched noises coming from your air conditioner, have an HVAC professional look at your system’s compressor and fan motors. These types of air conditioner noises are often are the result of unlubricated bearings or slipped or damaged blower belts.
Buzzing or Clicking
Most of the time, a buzzing sound is the result of an electrical problem. If you are hearing a clicking sound, it could mean your systems relays or contractors are failing. Call in a trained tech to fix this type of air conditioner noise problem.
For your air conditioner’s fan to run properly, you must have your system regularly maintained and cleaned. A rattling or humming fan likely needs a good cleaning. Other issues that could cause this air conditioner sound include bent or shifted blades, a worn-out part in the fan or problems within the fan motor.
If you are hearing a hissing noise coming from your air conditioning unit, a refrigerant leak could be the problem. If that’s the case, you may also notice your system is running more frequently and not cooling as well as it used to. To have your coils, lines and refrigerant charge checked for possible leaks, call in an HVAC professional.
TIP: Refrigerant leaks often result from neglected maintenance. Coils that do not get regular cleanings will get corroded, resulting in cracks and pinhole leaks where refrigerant can escape. You can avoid this problem by getting a preventive maintenance plan with a reputable HVAC company.
An issue with your A/C coils may be responsible for your noisy air conditioner. Bent coil fins can make a humming sound. If the coil fins become clogged with dirt and grime, your system works less efficiently, and ends up running constantly as it struggles to reach the temperature you have set. If you do not attend to it, this problem will cause a breakdown.
If you’re hearing a humming noise, do not forget to examine your outside condenser unit as well. It’s not unusual for twigs and other debris to get stuck in the condenser unit’s fan. Make sure you sweep the surrounding area clean of dirt and debris.
Poor System Design
Has a noisy air conditioner been a problem for you since the day you got it installed? Does your unit constantly turn on and off? If so, the system may be oversized for your space, or it may lack high-quality noise-reduction features.
Achieve Peace and Quiet With Routine Maintenance
Are you ready to stop your noisy air conditioner and achieve better comfort conditions? It’s time to schedule an inspection and maintenance visit from the experts at Maichle’s Heating, Air Conditioning and Plumbing.
Your loud A/C system is more than a mere annoyance. It could be costing you more money by running less efficiently, and it could also bring about an inopportune and costly system breakdown in the hottest part of the summer. Plus, you can prevent many air conditioner problems in the future, including noise issues, with regular, proactive maintenance.
Should You Repair or Replace Your Noisy Air Conditioner?
In the worst-case scenario, you might end up receiving a costly repair estimate to fix your noise issue. Now you have a dilemma: How can you decide whether your air conditioner is worth fixing, or if you’re better off replacing it entirely?
There are many factors to consider before deciding whether to repair or replace, including the age and condition of the system, its repair history and the extent of the current damage. If your air conditioner is 10 years old or older, it may be quickly nearing the end of its lifespan anyway, and it probably isn’t worth paying to get it repaired. Older A/C units are also less efficient, so you could be unnecessarily paying higher energy bills.
If your air conditioner uses R-22 refrigerant, which the EPA is phasing out, that should also impact your decision. Companies that manufacture air conditioners have been banned from using R-22 since Dec. 31, 2009, so if you got your air conditioner anytime within the past nine years, you can feel confident it uses an EPA-approved alternative refrigerant. R-22 production will halt completely in 2020, which will make it harder to find. Because R-22 will become scarcer, the cost of getting an A/C recharge will likely become much more expensive.
Achieve a Quiet, Efficient Air Conditioner This Summer
Don’t let a noisy A/C unit disrupt your life. If you live in Delaware, Pennsylvania or Maryland, contact the pros at Maichle’s for expert HVAC repair that helps you feel cool and comfortable no matter how hot it gets outside. We are here to give you greater peace of mind with affordable repairs and outstanding customer service. Contact us today to learn more.