Technician checking AC blower

Why Is My Aircon Making Noise? How to Fix it?

Air conditioners have improved a lot over the years. Today, most of the models on the market are virtually silent when they’re running. If your unit is making a lot of noise, it might be the sign of a problem. If your aircon is making noise, and you’re trying to figure out why to keep reading. You’ll find out what causes a lot of the sounds an AC can make, as well as what you should do to deal with the problem.

Vibrations and Humming

If you’re hearing a humming noise that sounds like something is vibrating, it’s possible that there’s a loose pipe inside your air conditioner. This isn’t a serious problem, but it’s still an issue that you’ll want to address.

If the humming noise sounds a little more like buzzing, it’s possible that there’s an issue with the motor in the unit. This is particularly likely to be the problem if the compressor isn’t starting. Make sure that your unit gets regular maintenance so that you can deal with these kinds of problems before they keep your unit from working.

Clicking Noises

It’s normal to hear clicking noises when you first turn your AC on or off. If these noises persist, however, it’s likely that there’s an issue. It’s possible that there’s a problem with your thermostat or that there’s some sort of electrical issue.

There are many electrical components in an AC unit, and if even one of those components fail, it can cause big problems. Don’t panic if you hear a clicking noise, but if the sound doesn’t seem to go away, you’re going to want to have your unit inspected.

Clanking Sounds

If you’re hearing loud clanking or banging noises, it’s likely that one of the parts inside your unit is loose. What you’re hearing is the part jostling around while the AC operates. If your unit has an outdoor fan, it’s also possible that the blades are out of balance.

If you are dealing with a loose part, the problem isn’t going to go away until after the part is tightened up. The same is true for any issues with your fan. It’s best to have your unit inspected so that professionals can correct these problems.

Squeaking or Squealing

Whether you’re hearing shorter squeaks or more sustained squeals, these kinds of noises are a sign that there’s a problem with the motor in your aircon. Motors often make these kinds of noises when they’re about to go bad.

If you’re hearing these kinds of noises, it’s possible that your motor will need to be replaced, which can be a costly repair. You may find that it’s more cost-effective to install a new aircon in a situation like this. Learn more about likely repair costs and decide how to proceed.

Banging Noises

It’s hard to ignore your AC when it’s making banging noises. These kinds of noises can make it difficult to leave your aircon running when you’re trying to fall asleep at night. As mentioned above, this is generally an indicator of a loose part.

These kinds of noises can also be a problem when there’s an issue with the compressor in your unit. No matter what the source of the problem is, you’ll want to have it looked at sooner rather than later. Repairs will be cheaper if you spot these issues right away.

Buzzing Sounds

While banging noises are loud and disturbing, buzzing noises can be a lot harder to notice. In some cases, you might not be able to hear these sounds unless you’re standing right next to your air conditioner. There are plenty of things that can cause buzzing noises, making this a common problem.

In some cases, you’ll hear buzzing noises when a part is only slightly loose. These noises can turn into louder banging or rattling noises if the issue isn’t taken care of. In other cases, these kinds of problems are caused because there is debris in the unit. This is one of the easiest problems to solve; all you’ll have to do is clean your AC. It could also be a sign that your air filter needs to be changed.

If you’re hearing these kinds of noises, check your filter and give your unit a good cleaning. If that doesn’t address the problem, you’ll want to contact professionals that will be able to inspect your unit and find the real source of the problem.

Rattling or Chattering

If you’re hearing a sound that you’d describe as either rattling or chattering, it’s a sign that multiple parts inside your AC are loose or worn down. These kinds of sounds are more common when a unit is nearing the end of its lifespan. If your air conditioner is more than 10 years old, and you’re starting to hear these kinds of sounds, you’re going to want to start looking at new models.

If you have a newer unit, however, it’s likely that these noises are being caused by a more minor problem. Check all of the screws on your unit. If you notice that any of them are loose, take the time to tighten them. If that gets rid of the noises, you’re in the clear!

Whistling Noises

If your aircon is making a high-pitched noise that sounds like a whistle — or even a scream — you’ll want to shut it off immediately. A noise like this isn’t just disturbing; it’s an indicator that you have a refrigerant leak.

This is a problem that needs to be addressed by professionals. Make sure that your AC unit is completely shut off until help arrives. Otherwise, harmful substances could enter your home, putting your household at risk.

Since you depend on your aircon to keep you cool and comfortable, you’ll want to make sure you get to the bottom of any noises that you’re hearing. Whether you’re dealing with banging, buzzing, or another type of noise, you’ll want to work to solve the problem and get professional assistance if needed. Do check out other common AC problems here.

Is Running a Noisy AC Risky?

The air conditioner will typically produce a low humming sound, mainly from the fans and the compressor. A distinctively audible hum may, however, signal an underlying issue that should be checked immediately.  This can be anything from refrigerant piping, loose parts, or even a broken fan blade. Failure to have these checked could prove to be costly in the long run. A faulty electrical system or supply may also cause the AC to produce strange buzzing sounds.

How To Fix a Noisy Air Conditioner Problem?

Fans will usually become noisier when/if covered with dust and dirt. Lack of proper lubrication may also be the reason for a noisy fan. Regular cleaning, servicing and maintenance can help fix/prevent most of these issues.

Here is a guide on how to clean your aircon’s fans.

  • Using a screwdriver, open the air conditioner cabinet to access the fan. Inspect all fan blades to ensure they are intact and undamaged.  Next, remove any debris that might have accumulated on or around the fan blades. This can be anything from insulation materials to dust and leaves.
  • Next, check to see if the blades are firmly attached to the base. A loose fan will vibrate uncontrollably, transferring the energy to other parts of the unit, hence the rattling noise.  Use an Allen wrench or screwdriver to tighten screws holding the fan.
  • Ensure the fan blades are straight and not bent. Even the slightest bend on the fans will cause the entire unit to vibrate. You also don’t want the blades touching the inside of the unit either, as they will either break or produce squeaking noises.  Fan blades can be delicate, be gentle with them.

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