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Why Is My Air Conditioner Noisy? Understanding and Solving the Problem

Both homeowners and renters can be bothered by noisy air conditioners. A noisy air conditioner could be the result of problems with the compressor, the fan, or the ductwork.

A compressor that isn’t working right is a possible cause of a noisy air conditioner.  The compressor is what moves the refrigerant around the system. If it isn’t working right, it can make loud noises. In some cases, the problem can be fixed by replacing the compressor but this is a costly expense.

A noisy air conditioner could also be caused by a problem with the fan. The fan’s job is to move air around the system, and if it’s not working right, it can make a lot of noise. Some of the time, you can fix this problem by cleaning or replacing the fan.

Air filters that are dirty or clogged could be another reason why your air conditioner is making noise. This is often a wistle or rattle from the return air grille.  These filters need to be replaced or cleaned on a regular basis to keep the system running smoothly and quietly.

Zone motors are another cause of noise from your air conditioner. Sometimes this can be an audible ticking or clicking noise from the ceiling space. These motors require replacement once they fail.

Panels vibrating together can cause noise issues. If the unit is installed poorly, manufactured poorly or not assembled correctly, vibrations can be heard during operation. Sometimes panels can be removed and sound deadening foam can be stuck between the panels to reduce vibrations.

Older units can be noisier than new inverter style air conditioners. Old units are often fixed speed compressors that make a loud noise on start up. This is not an issue with inverter units that start up slowly. Older units often have stripped screws and bent panels, pipes and grilles that can cause noise during operation. If your unit is over 15 years old, replacement may be the best option.

If your air conditioner is making a lot of noise, it’s best to call a professional who can figure out what’s wrong and fix it. They will be able to figure out what’s making the noise and suggest the best way to fix it.