It's no secret that central air conditioners can be noisy at times. The noise can come from any one of its many components. But how do you reduce this noise, and what causes it? We've looked into this inquiry for you. And in this post, we will answer these questions.
Here are some of the ways that you can reduce the noise of your central air conditioner:
- Tighten loose screws
- Check the condenser and compressor
- Schedule a maintenance check
- Build a sound barrier
- Purchase a sound blanket
- Reach out to an HVAC pro
During the midst of summer heat, the last thing you want to worry about is a loud and disruptive sound coming from your air conditioner. Not only can it disrupt your home life, but it may be a sign of issues with your central air system. Continue to learn about what may cause this and how to troubleshoot your central air system if you encounter this issue.
Ways To Reduce Noise From Central Air Conditioner
Tighten loose screws
Loose screws are a common source of buzzing sounds coming from central air conditioning units. The screws can come from the panels on the condenser or inner components inside the unit motor.
If you hear any rattling or shaking sound when the unit is turned on, a loose screw or nut may be the culprit.
And some cases, you may also hear a buzzing sound coming from the blower fan.
In this case, the best thing to do is to closely inspect the unit to ensure that all accessible screws are fastened tightly in place. If you can't access some of the interior screws, consider calling an HVAC technician.
Check the condenser and compressor
These large and central components of the air conditioner are most likely to cause the loudest noises in the central air unit if they are faulty.
So if your unit is over 7 to 10 years old and begins to make loud banging sounds, the chances are that it's one of these motorized components. And if this is the case, they will either need to be repaired or replaced.
Schedule a maintenance check
Sometimes the noise coming from your central air conditioning unit can also be a sign that it needs a little maintenance. If there is a buildup of debris or dust on the blades of the blower fan, you may notice that the unit runs louder than normal.
You can solve this issue by simply cleaning the fan blades using a brush attachment on a vacuum. Be careful not to bend or push the blades when cleaning them, as they can break easily.
You'll also want to check the air filter to see if it's clogged. If it is, be sure to replace it or clean it as needed. A clogged air filter can cause the compressor to work overtime to force air through the clogged filter; the harder it works, the louder it tends to run.
Remember that it's best to have your system on an annual or semi-annual maintenance check to prevent this type of issue.
Build a sound barrier
If you find that your air conditioner is completely functional, there is always the option of building a small fence around the outside unit.
To do this, find sound dampening materials either online or at your local hardware store that you can construct outdoors. This small barrier between the AC unit in your home can help to muffle noises significantly.
The fence doesn't have to be high, just tall enough to cover the unit's height, which is typically about three feet. You can use plywood scraps or another cheap and accessible wood and build it for less than $100.
However, you'll want to be mindful that it should be at least three feet from the unit's exterior for safety reasons.
Check out this sound barrier material on Amazon.
Purchase a sound blanket
You can also purchase a sound blanket to cover your air conditioning unit.
These blankets are designed to match the specific make and model of an AC unit, so you may need to contact the unit's manufacturer to see if they are available. The sound blankets typically cost anywhere from $50 to $100 apiece.
Reach out to an HVAC pro
If you're confident that your unit is functioning correctly and you can't build a fence or find a sound blanket, consider reaching out to your local HVAC technician.
The technician can advise you on potential causes of the noise and give you a few tips on how to reduce it. They can also recommend different makes and models that have a quieter operation.
Why is my central air unit so loud?
The air conditioning unit could be in need of a maintenance check, a part replacement, or it may simply be too old.
If you notice that your air conditioning is running louder than usual, the best thing to do is to perform a quick maintenance check on it. This includes checking the filter, checking for loose screws, and closely inspecting the unit for any potentially faulty parts.
If you hear a loud buzzing or rattling sound, the chances are that a major component (such as the compressor or condenser) is malfunctioning.
Suppose the unit appears to be operating normally. In that case, you may want to consider applying a sound dampening technique to the air conditioner, such as building a fence or covering the unit with an AC blanket.
Is it normal for air conditioners to be loud?
While it is normal for an air conditioner to make noise, the unit itself should not be louder than the sound of your average car motor.
The loudness of the unit will vary according to the unit's make, model, and year. The air conditioner may also emit louder sounds if it needs maintenance, repair, or replacement.
A unit over ten years old may operate louder than a recently manufactured unit.
However, if you notice any new strange sounds coming from your air conditioner system, you may want to do an inspection or schedule a maintenance check, as this may be a sign of a component issue.
How loud should your air conditioner be?
The typical air conditioning system should omit the same noise level as a dishwasher or a small late model sedan. The average noise level will hover between 30-80 decibels, which is significant if you are in a small space.
For example, if you are outside standing next to the air conditioning unit, you may not hear someone talking who is standing right next to you. However, air conditioning units can operate at a much quieter noise level if you want something quieter.
Why do I hear a noise when I turn my AC on?
You should generally hear some operational noise when you turn on your air conditioning unit. The main and loudest noises typically come from the condenser, compressor, and blower motor.
However, there may be some noises that will necessitate an inspection of the unit. Let's take a look at the most common ones.
Squeaking noise may come from your AC unit if there is an issue with high internal pressure. This can build up inside the compressor if the unit is overheating or over ten years old.
If you hear an especially loud sound coming from your air conditioning system, be sure to turn off the unit and have it inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
A hissing sound coming from your air conditioning system usually means that there is a refrigerant leak. The refrigerant can leak directly from the hose, evaporator coils, or at the gas valve opening.
This is another potential repair that you don't want to put off. A refrigerant leak can be hazardous. If you suspect that you have a leak in your system, turn off the unit immediately and have a technician come out for an inspection.
Buzzing sounds are almost always a sign of an electrical issue within your AC. Typically this happens in the condenser fan motor housing, electrical wiring, relay switch, or other internal components.
These issues can also be hazardous, and can you hear this sound coming from your unit, be sure to schedule an inspection.
What brand of air conditioner is quietest?
Brands known for their quiet air conditioning systems include Seer, Lennox, Carrier, Daikin Fit, and Heil Air.
Wrapping Things Up
As you can see, several reasons can cause an air conditioner to emit noises. Remember, noises are typically a sign of an issue with the unit, and you should investigate it immediately.
Be sure to check out our other posts before you go:
Why Is My Goodman Furnace Blowing Cold Air?
This Post Has 2 Comments
“The Article is the best guide to those who have air conditioners making loud and sudden noise. The blog has listed down ways of reducing the noise and gives reasons behind this sudden failure.
Though calling professionals for such instances is important.
Thank you for the tips, looking forward to more articles.”
I thought it was really interesting when you gave the decibels and compared them to how loud an air conditioner should be. Between 30 and 80 is where the home air conditioner should be. I am certain that our AC is much louder than that. It can even keep us awake at night. Since we have lost a lot of sleep over this, I think we will be calling on an HVAC professional to check it out.