noisy air conditioner

Your Loud, Annoying, Noisy Air Conditioner

  • July 28, 2015
  • By MR COOL

It’s summer. It’s hot. Air conditioning is great. Unless…you can’t even get a good night’s sleep thanks to your noisy air conditioner.

You can’t go without A/C, so what do you do? Is that noise even normal? Should you call someone?

Don’t worry. MrCool is here to help.

Diagnosing a Noisy Air Conditioner

There is one big question you should ask about a noisy air conditioner: “Is the noise normal or the sign of a problem?”

Depending on your air conditioner’s age, the noise might be normal. Older units lack the insulation and noise-reducing technology many new units have as standard features. What you want to do is listen for a few key indicators:

  • Grinding: Grinding is bad. If you hear it, it’s probably coming from the fan motor. The bearings in the motor can wear out after a long operating life. When they do, they start grinding. You’ll need to get the fan motor replaced, since total fan failure is probably not too far off.
  • Rattling: A rattling noise can be a big deal or a little one. Sometimes leaves and twigs can get caught in the vents, and sound really bad when you hear them. They’re not a big deal. Clean them out and you’re good. Rattling inside the compressor itself is a problem. It means operating wear and tear is starting to build up, and your compressor may be on its last legs.
  • Hissing: If you hear a sharp hissing noise coming from the unit itself, that means one thing: refrigerant leak. Modern refrigerants are rarely dangerous to humans, but replacing it is expensive. Contact an HVAC professional immediately when you hear that noise.

Those are the major problem sounds you need to listen for when it comes to worrying about a noisy air conditioner.

And, remember, if the unit’s just loud, it’s probably just old. The only way to permanently solve that is with a new air conditioner that, purely by coincidence, we would be happy to sell you.

10 thoughts on “Your Loud, Annoying, Noisy Air Conditioner”

  1. How loud is the outdoor unit? We will have on the exterior bedroom wall. Will this be noisy if it’s mounted there? And is vibration associated with it being mounted on the wall?

    1. The outside condenser is not very loud especially compared to a traditional air conditioner condenser. It has rubber pads you can use during installation to mitigate any potential vibration.

  2. My inside unit is humming, a low grade constant low humming, that sounds like white noise, but t is so annoying.

  3. My unit is making a high pitch whining noise on start up after a minute or two it goes away, any suggestions?

  4. 18k single zone unit about 2 years in service. Makes a click, click sound about three consecutive times when the unit is turned on and the louver is moving to its open position. Also make the same sound periodically while on. No noise when louvere is closing. Any ideas?

    1. You may want to check if your louvers are aligned appropriately. Softer noises may be common during operation, but if it sounds loud, obtrusive, or as if things are grinding together, please give us a call at 270-336-0457 as quickly as possible.

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