Air-conditioning technology has come a long way since it was first developed, in the early part of the last century. Long gone are the days when you had to choose being kept awake all night by the clanging and clunking of your AC unit, or being kept awake all night by the heat. While modern AC units are not exactly silent, the noise they do make shouldn’t be audible inside your home. So if you are being disturbed by its noise, either the unit is old or there is something wrong with the air conditioner, and it needs maintenance.
If you have an old noisy air-conditioner , you might want to consider replacing it. Although the initial cost is high, modern units are much more energy efficient, and a new one could pay for itself in two to three years, through savings on electricity bills. If replacing is not an option, you could buy an air-conditioner noise-reduction blanket. Your AC maintenance service should be able to tell you which type to buy, and how to fix it.
If your unit is relatively new but has started making noises, it could be caused by one of a number of things. Luckily, most of these are easy fixes, so read on to find out how to reduce noise from an outside air-conditioner unit. And remember, before doing any work on your AC, turn it off and disconnect it from the power supply!
Annoying rattling or loud humming noises are usually caused by the fan. It has either come loose, dirty and needs cleaning or has a bent blade. Here’s what you should do:
- Open the outside unit and find the fan. If there is lots of dirt and debris around the fan or tangled up with it, clean it out.
- Check that the fan itself is not loose. It should rotate freely but not move in any other direction. If it is loose, tighten the nut in the center with an Allen key or wrench.
- Make sure the blades are straight. If one is bent, it could be hitting the inside of the cabinet. You can bend it back in shape by hand, but be very gentle.
The constant vibrations of your AC unit, while it works, can easily shake screws loose. With a screwdriver, check all the screws holding the cabinet together and tighten any loose ones. Also, check the mounting screws that hold the unit to its base, as these can also work loose.
If the motor isn’t sufficiently lubricated, it will make a humming or grinding noise, as the metal parts rub together. If your unit has an unsealed motor, it will have an oil port where you can add motor oil to lubricate it. It’s a good idea to do this at the beginning of every summer, to avoid noise in the first place.
Dirt in the coil fins (the grill-like thing on the outside unit) can make your AC noisy. Clean them with a vacuum cleaner, with a brush attachment. If these fins are bent, they’ll also make noise. It’s a relatively simple matter to straighten them out, but you’ll need a special tool called a fin comb. This looks like an oversize hair comb and works in the same way. Just place the teeth between the fins and comb down gently.
As you can see, fixing a noisy air-conditioner is not that difficult, but if it’s not something you are willing or able to tackle yourself, just contact us here at Chills Air Conditioning, and we’ll be happy to help!