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Why Is My AC Unit So Loud?


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When your AC unit is making unnatural and loud noises, you don’t want to ignore it. Even if the air conditioner is still producing the air quality in your home that you desire, these noises can be a warning of a future issue. It’s crucial that you’re proactive when it comes to the noises that your AC unit makes. If you aren’t sure what your unit should sound like, take a little time every day to familiarize yourself with the noises that are normal so that you can identify if you hear one that isn’t. Here we’ve listed a few of the different sounds that will alert you to a problem with your unit and what could be causing the loud noises. We’ll also go over the best practices for prevention. 

The Different Sounds an Air Conditioner Can Make and What Could Be Causing Them 

While advances in AC units have provided us with much quieter units, they’ll still always make a slight humming noise as the fan turns and the unit runs. That is normal, but if you hear any of the noises below, it might mean that it’s time to call in the pros to run diagnostics to find out what the problem is and properly repair it.

  • A rattling noise. A loud rattle can alert you to the fact that your compressor is getting older and may be due for a repair or service very soon. However, it can also be a sign that debris has made its way into the unit. Rattles can also be caused by loosened screws, bolts, and other hardware or parts.
  • A grinding sound. When you hear a loud grinding within your unit, it might be a worn bearing on your fan motor, or another issue with your fan motor. Grinding noises should never be ignored and a certified air conditioning repair professional will be able to identify and repair the problem quickly.
  • A loud hissing or whistling sound. A hissing or whistling noise can alert you to a ductwork issue or a possible refrigerant leak.
  • A popping noise. This is usually the result of old ductwork, and often won’t be a direct problem with your unit. However, the loud popping noise is often most prevalent when the unit is turning off and coming back on and should be checked out by a professional.

How to Prevent an Air Conditioner from Being Loud

As with most air conditioning unit situations, reducing the amount of repairs you have over the years and keeping the noises normal is easier than you think. Start by adding your own routine maintenance to your calendar such as changing filters and clearing debris away from the outside of your unit. Many of the new AC units will have a setting on the thermostat that will alert you when it’s time to change a filter. You should also get annual checkups from certified AC technicians. Take the time to listen to your unit often so that you are aware when a sound is not natural so that you can get a quick repair.

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