The Nature of Air Conditioning Noise
All air conditioning systems produce some measure of noise. Expect it. Not as a major chatter, but rather as the general hum of any fan-driven air delivery system. But there is much distinction between AC systems that clang, jangle and rattle versus a system that outputs a defined and acceptable air conditioning operational hum.
In this article, the techs at American Cooling and Heating detail four fixes for common excessive air conditioning noise problems.
Air Conditioning Noise – Defining Volume
Before addressing why AC systems make noise, you need first to understand the applied definition of sound volume. All HVAC system manufacturers post the sound db of the units. In fact, most central and split A/C systems are designed to maintain a less than 35-db sound level. But what does that mean to you? How do you define “db?”
Consider the following relationships:
- A) 20-db… Low and soft like the ticking of a small watch
- B) 40-db… Mild and distant like echoes along a park walkway
- C) 60-db… Clearly audible but reasonably subdued like friends in typical conversation
- D) 80-db… Clanging for attention like commercials on the TV
- E) 100-db… Alarming, demanding and extremely distracting like the crack-crack of nearby rifle fire.
In essence, the expected sounds that come from your home air conditioning system should seem mild and distant like echoes along a park walkway. It’s a sound that you hear but easily tune out.
4 Reasons AC Systems Make Noise
When the noise level from your home air conditioning unit seems odd, interruptive to thought or conversation, or simply out of place for current expectations, you should take immediate action. Never ignore the audible signs of possible HVAC system complications. Delayed AC repairs typically ensure an increase cost for said repair.
Safety Tip: Never attempt repairs on any A/C unit without first disconnecting power to the system.
If you are not comfortable examining your own system, now is the time to contact the nearest Phoenix-regional office of ACH.
1) Air Conditioning Noise – Chattering Fans
Reliable system cooling, efficient air distribution, and effective system operation demands that the fans associated with your Phoenix home A/C unit operate without hindrance. Some HVAC fan repairs require the talents of skilled HVAC techs. Other repairs may be as minor. For evaporator system fans that are producing excessive humming or perhaps a bit of rattling, consider the following options:
- Remove any debris that may be touching the fan blades
- Tighten the screw at the hub of the blades
- Gently correct any blades that appear bent.
2) Air Conditioning Noise – Clogged Coil Fins
Growing weeds, fallen leaves and dirt can easily cause clogs in condenser coils. Bend coil fins also cause excessive A/C system noise. Simple fixes for clogged condenser foil fins include:
- Removing any nearby clutter
- Pulling nearby weeds by the root
- Gently washing the coils with pressurized water
- Purchase a fin comb and then cautiously correct any bent fins.
Note: Incorrect combing can result in additional damage.
3) Air Conditioning Noise – Loose Screws
Everything machine that vibrates runs the risk of producing loose screws. Air conditioning and heat pump systems are not immune to the problem. System vibrations can affect screws associated with fans, mounting panels and even electrical components. The fix: Use reset the screws.
4) Air Conditioning Noise – Lubrication
Modern AC and refrigeration equipment use sealed compressors. This means that cooling of the compressor relies on cold refrigerant returning from the indoor coil. When a system leak causes a drop in coolant level, major system damage can easily follow. Sounds to listen for include:
- Low rumblings
- High pitched squeals, even if not loud
- Continuous ticking
- And more.
Repairing AC lubrication problems exceed DIY efforts. Too little coolant remains a problem. Too much coolant generates another type of problem. Furthermore: Conscientious HVAC service providers find and fix leaks prior to adding more refrigerant.
Why Arizona AC Systems Make Noise – Local Help In Times of Need
Some of the above steps are simple. But resolving major Phoenix air conditioning noises often demands the services of a major Phoenix A/C service provider. If the problem persists, contact American Cooling and Heating Today.