Why Is My AC So Loud? How to Quiet a Noisy AC

If you’re watching this video, it’s probably
because your AC is making some crazy noises lately that you’re not used to. Or you just moved into a house and the AC
has never been used until now, and of course now it’s making strange noises. Of course, it is a machine, and machines make
noise. But why is this thing getting noisier and
noisier every summer? So, coming up next on Fox Family Heating,
Air Conditioning and Solar, I wanted to share some things I’ve seen out in the field working
on other people’s AC systems that might help you isolate where the noise is coming
from and some possible reasons why your AC is so loud. Intro
If this is your first time watching our channel, please click subscribe down here on the bottom
right. And, if you click that little bell next to
it, you’ll be notified of all our videos as they come out. Your air conditioner is very likely on the
side of your house. For some people it’s on the roof. And for obvious reasons, a roof mounted AC
is definitely going to make some low consistent vibration because its mounted to the roof
joists, which are connected to the wall studs, and the rest of the house.

So, for those of you with rooftop air conditioners
or complete package units that are so common here in California, that is something you
may be stuck with as long as it’s up there. Also, as I’m sure you already know, these
are machines and machines make noise. Typically, the older they get, the louder
they get. So, understanding that, let’s dive into
some real issues you might be experiencing on systems that aren’t 20 years or older. I want to break this into two parts: Things
you can fix yourself, and things you might want to have a real HVAC technician look at. Notice I said real technician, and not a person
dressed like a technician who is just there to sell you a new system. These deceiving salesmen and saleswomen are
only in it for the money and have no interest in saving your system. Remember, if the parts are available, and
yours very likely are, or can at least be retrofitted with correctly matched universal
parts, it can be repaired. You’re in charge. Like I always say on this channel, your system
is designed to last about 20 years before you might start considering getting a newer

But, it’s really about where YOU want to
put YOUR money and not the technician. Here are some loud noises you’re probably
not going to be able to fix yourself: Loud Compressor
Your AC that sits on the side of your house, really only has a few parts in it that will
make some crazy noises. Inside the shell of that outdoor unit is a
compressor, a fan motor, and an on/off switch called a contactor. The biggest part, the compressor, pumps the
refrigerant through your system much like your heart does the blood in your body.

This pumping requires two spiral plates to
rotate in an elliptical motion; And sometimes those plates (more commonly called scrolls)
can chip or come out of alignment creating the loudest, most awful noise you’ve ever
heard. Especially if it happens at night when you’re
sleeping. It’s a grinding noise or loud clacking noise
that can not be missed. It’s not like we can take the cover off
and look inside to fix it either. It’s a hermetically sealed part that can’t
be opened by anyone. If this noise can’t be fixed from outside
the compressor, you will most likely agree with your technician when they say they need
to replace that part. I personally remember a house in Coloma, CA
that was doing this. The loud noise never stopped for the customer
as they ran their AC.

Heck it wasn’t even cooling the house either. It was just running and running and running. As we approached the unit that was completely
on the other side of the house, it got louder and louder. After some testing, I noticed the compressor
wasn’t pumping like it should, yet it was still making this loud noise. This was THE loudest air conditioner I have
ever heard. It was a 10-year-old Bryant AC, so we changed
that compressor out, and the system ran fine from there on out. I’ve also come upon an AC where the compressor,
one just like we were talking about wasn’t out of alignment or broken, but internally
had a part called a by-pass stuck open. This created a loud squealing or screaming
noise indicative of high pressures and high heat inside that compressor.

Before replacing this part though, a technician
should determine if the refrigerant pressures within the system are adequate, as well as
some other tests. Whatever the solution, I just wanted you to
be aware of some noises that this compressor makes. Fan Motor
Another time we might have to replace the part making the noise is on the condenser
fan motor. That’s the fan blade you’ve probably seen
that spins on the top of your AC when its running. I’ve come out on a house before where this
motor that spins the fan blade is making a high-pitched whistling noise. As I looked around the AC, my ears and eyes
finally isolated the noise coming from this motor. Every AC fan motor has ball-bearings that
help the motor shaft spin.

But these bearings are sealed and can’t
be accessed to lubricate them, which would likely solve the problem. So, in this case, the motor has to be replaced
if you want the loud noise to cease. Finding the right motor can be tricky, so
it’s probably best to let a qualified technician do it. Just putting a motor with the wrong speed
setting will cause cooling issues you won’t be happy with. Contactor
Your AC has an on/off switch called a contactor. The thermostat inside your home tells it when
to switch on and off by sending a low voltage signal. To plates come together at that very moment
to allow the high voltage though to the parts we were just talking about before: The compressor
and the Fan Motor. As the years go by, pitting caused by the
high voltage arcs happening between those two plates as they come together can get to
a point where the two plates won’t come together all the way creating a loud buzzing

Not near as loud as that compressor I was
telling you about earlier, but loud enough to get your attention. Getting into the electrical panel of an air
conditioner can be pretty intimidating and dangerous causing electrical shock, so let’s
make sure a qualifies technician helps you with this. Once again, getting the wrong switch can lead
to more expensive problems. What you can do
Now, here are some loud noises you are likely able to isolate and fix yourself, but still,
if you don’t feel comfortable doing it, just call Fox Family Heating Air and Solar
and our techs will be happy to fix this stuff for you.

pexels photo 3964704

Make it level
If your system starts making loud noises, first make sure it’s level. If the AC isn’t flat, oil inside the compressor
might not be lubricating the way it should be. Just be careful not to bend the copper lines
coming from the wall to the AC. This will definitely strangle the refrigerant
and cause more expensive problems. Debris
Next, sometimes sticks and leaves can block the fan blade on top of the AC from spinning,
which causes some strange noises with the AC, so definitely go outside and at least
check to see if any sticks or toys are prevent the fan blade from spinning. The damage may already be done to it, but
you can at least try. Rattling Fan Shroud
Also, the fan blade is protected by a round metal shroud that is there to allow warm air
to flow out of it, but also protect people from getting their fingers inside of the AC.

Sometimes this shroud starts rattling as the
screws that hold it down start vibrating loose, possibly creating a larger hole than the screws
were initially sized for. As the AC runs, the rattling can get pretty
annoying. This tends to happen on older systems. The solution would be to install a little
bit wider screws that could hold the shroud down more securely. This would fill the hole better and crate
less noise. Another trick we like to do is get these little
rubber isolation pads and use them as shims to help dampen the vibration between the shroud
and the frame of the AC. This can really help in reducing the vibration
or rattling noise on your aging system. Ways to prevent
Preventive maintenance is key. If Fox Family can get out to your system twice
a year and do the necessary checks and clean your system, we know we can make your system
last longer. A clean system is a healthy system. But if you don’t want to hire us to do these
checks for you, no problem.

Here are some things you can definitely do
on your own to help your system out. Changing your filters as needed. I always say if your filter isn’t perfectly
clean, it’s time to change it out. The filters we buy at my house come with a
cardboard trim around it with some white mesh or fiberglass as the filter media. They’re also the cheapest filter sold at
the store. They’re like $7 bucks for a 3-pack. If that filter isn’t perfectly white, then
I change it out.

And I’m not tied to it because we bought
some expensive filter. Some people buy these $20-dollar filters. Its almost like they want to hang on to these
filters as long as they can, even though they are brown or gray in color now. Eww! That’s the air we are breathing! That’s the air the children in the house
are breathing. This dirty, dead skin, pollen laden filter
is now a contaminated breathing mask essentially for your AC.

If that dirty filter were up against your
mouth as you breathed in, you would definitely change it. So that’s what I compare it to. Anyways, you get the picture. And I’m sorry for getting too graphic there. Another reason to change that filter is because
super dirty filters can suffocate the compressor which can cause burnouts, clogged evaporator
coils, and other cooling problems. If the air filter is too dirty, the evaporator
coil can even form into a block of ice, really causing some serious cooling issues, including
loud screaming compressors that can circulate refrigerant anymore. Washing the AC outside unit every now and
then would be nice too.

It doesn’t take much energy to do, and it
doesn’t take any soapy solutions to do this either. But if that coil on the outside AC gets clogged
like a dirty air filter does, high pressures can occur in the refrigerant system causing
loud squeaking noises to arise. Please don’t use a pressure washer. You’ll destroy the parts of the system that
are crucial for air flow and heat transfer. But you do want to use just enough pressure
from the hose to start knocking off loose dirt and small debris down to the ground. Also try to focus on not bending any of the
fins that surround the AC. These are called the condenser coils. If you flatten them, you will have created
some crazy noises with your AC. Well, I hope this has helped you understand
where some of those strange, loud noises are coming from on your air conditioner that sits

If you have any questions or doubts that you
can isolate the noise, let us know at Fox Family Heating, Air and Solar. We’d love to help keep your system running
for a long time! If this is your first time watching our channel,
please click subscribe down here on the bottom right. And, if you click that little bell next to
it, you’ll be notified of all our videos as they come out. Thanks so much for watching and we’ll see
you on the next video!.

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