Why Is My Air Conditioner So Loud?

Sep 12th, 2016 | News
A loud air conditioner can interfere with being able to hear your television and even make it difficult to sleep. Some people are more annoyed by noise than others, but air conditioners, whether they are window units or central air systems, can be quiet. There are different factors that cause air conditioner noise. Some of them work together to make it cumulatively worse. Here you will find solutions to the question of “Why is my air conditioner so loud?”

Vibration Causing a Loud Air Conditioner

At the top of the list for air conditioner noise is vibration. The moving parts inside an air conditioner are the compressor and blower motor. Central air units also have a large fan in the condenser unit outdoors. Window air conditioners units are self-contained. Vibration is usually noticed the most when the compressor activates. The compressor of some models can be quite loud as it cycles on. When the air conditioner is blowing cold air, the compressor is on. Cheaper models may not isolate the compressor using by rubber bushings. No compressor noise should be noticed indoors from a central air unit. Another major cause of window unit vibration is the window frame and wall picking up vibrations. This usually results from not using foam cushioning to isolate the AC unit from the window.

Blower Noise Can Also Cause Loud Air Conditioner sounds

The blower, or fan, that moves the refrigerated air into the room must create some noise. Window units running on a high fan setting would be the noisiest. The larger the window AC, the more noise it is likely to make. It is just the sound of rushing air. However, some designs have taken noise into consideration and have adjusted fan output and vent sizes to control noise. Central air systems use the blower for the furnace and should not be any noisier than when the furnace is running. Noisy blowers of central air systems and window units that involve squeaks or rattling indicate malfunctioning of the blower. Wind noise is usually a combination of fan speed and the air handling capacity of the vents. Sometimes, just opening a damper on vents quiets the noise of a loud air conditioner.

Loud Central Air Conditioner Noise Solution

If you are close to your central air condenser and fan outside and wonder why is my air conditioner so loud, then the solution may be as easy as installing a sound insulation blanket. Though you may be able to do this as a do-it-yourself project, you should likely leave it to a professional. Condenser coils have delicate aluminum fins that should not be blocked or bent, and there are electrical and sharp edge hazards for the internal working parts of an AC system. Plus, incorrect installation could void a warranty.

Fixes for Loud Air Conditioner Window Units

Purchase an insulation kit for your window AC unit if you wonder why is my air conditioner so loud when you are in the same room that it is operating in. Insulation kits do more than just seal the system against cold air loss to the outside environment. They also help isolate a loud air conditioner from transferring noise to the window glass, window frame and surrounding walls. The bottom of the AC unit should have a thick foam base where it meets the window frame. A thinner, more dense foam is used to isolate the lip of the AC unit at the top that is supported by the partially closed window edge. Casement window units will have different positioning for the insulation foam. Be sure to follow the instructions from the manufacturer.

Following these tips can help you hear your TV and get a better night’s sleep during the summer season when your air conditioner is operating. However, do keep in mind that internal component rattles, squeaks and other noises are indicative of malfunctions that should be addressed by a professional air conditioner technician.