As a homeowner, there are few things more frightening than bumps in the night.
Of course, this isn’t usually because of ghouls and ghosts. It’s because the cost to fix most unknown noises can put a dent in our wallets! That’s especially true when the culprit is a noisy AC, as our HVAC units are often the most valuable appliance we own.
As tempting as it might be to shut your eyes (and ears) to ignore the issue, it’s critical to investigate a loud AC. Letting minor hassles snowball into serious problems can cause more headaches than taking care of the issue on the front end.
If you’re wondering why your AC is making noises—and what you can do about it—read on for some of the most common culprits.
1. A Impaired Belt
If you’ve noticed an odd squealing sound from your inside unit, an impaired belt may be to blame. This sound may come and go, especially as temperature levels fluctuate, but it will likely happen regularly.
When a fan belt wears down or becomes misaligned, it can cause odd noises before the belt breaks completely. Continuing to run your air conditioner will lead to more wear and tear, which can erode the impaired belt over time. However, the belt will eventually break, leaving you without air.
Fortunately, this is a simple issue to fix. An AC repair technician can replace the belt with a newer version, quieting your unit for good.
2. Duct Leaks
You’ll know you have duct leaks by the sounds of whistling, soft or loud, or by the hissing sound of escaping air. Duct leaks happen when small impairments in the ducts allow air to leak, especially within your attic.
If you have duct leaks, running your AC won’t cause damage to your unit itself. However, these leaks are more than a distracting nuisance.
Leaking ducts allow precious conditioned air to escape. This, in turn, means that your AC unit has to work harder to keep your home cool and that you may notice more uncomfortable temperatures as it strains to do so. It also means a higher energy bill, so make sure to reach out for AC repair services as soon as you notice this problem.
3. Loose Parts
Though we often think of an AC unit as stationary, it actually moves in minuscule ways as it works. With temperature fluctuations, some parts expand and contract. Fan blades rotate, grilles vibrate as air rushes through, and the motor moves.
These subtle movements can sometimes cause parts of the AC to loosen over time, an issue that becomes more likely with an older unit.
In some cases, the loose part is a minor issue. Screws, bolts, or other small parts may loosen and need to be tightened, a quick job you can tackle on your own.
In other cases, the cause may be harder to pin down. If you’ve checked for loose parts and foreign objects within your unit and come up empty, you may need to call an AC technician to see where the malfunction is. At times, the issue may even be a destabilized unit coming loose of its footing.
While loose parts may not cause immediate damage, and you can likely keep running your AC, it’s essential to reach out for help to diagnose the problem as soon as you can.
4. Electrical Malfunctions
In addition to nuts, bolts, and metal, your AC is also composed of intricate electrical components. These components must be perfectly tuned for your AC to function as it should. Otherwise, you may notice the sound of buzzing, which can indicate that something has gone wrong.
If you’ve noticed the buzzing outside, the issue probably lies with the contractor relay switch, a low-voltage switch in your outside AC unit. Replacing this can stop the loud buzz you hear—but it’s best to leave this work to a professional!
Only an expert can rule out further problems, like aging or loose electrical connections, or incorrect voltages.
When buzzing sounds take over your AC unit, have a professional inspect it as soon as possible to prevent a breakdown. Newer units may need small tweaks, but they may recommend a new AC installation to replace an aging unit.
5. Refrigerant Leak
You might guess that a refrigerant leak would sound like a simple drip—but sometimes, you’d be wrong.
Refrigerant leaks can make gurgling sounds while your air conditioner runs, or it may even sound like a faint buzzing from the condensate drain line. Hissing sounds can also be an indication of this common culprit.
When your AC is functioning as it should, your refrigerant should run through the system in a closed-loop. However, when the thin copper lines carrying the refrigerant become impaired, they can let the fluid leak. The intense pressure inside the copper tubing can cause the refrigerant to make strange hissing or buzzing sounds at times.
Refrigerant leaks can cause a spectrum of issues, from an AC that runs but won’t cool to ice building on your external unit.
It’s worth noting that refrigerant can be a major health hazard, so you should never try to top it off yourself. Also, only a professional can patch the leak or replace the lines as needed.
Don’t forget, as well, that refrigerant leaks are one of many things an expert will check for during regular maintenance.
Let Us Fix Your Noisy AC
If you’re still wondering, “Yes, but why is my AC so loud?” we’re here to help. Our team will work with you to diagnose your unit’s specific issue, eliminating the guesswork and tackling the problem for you.
We’re the trusted partner for homeowners throughout Wellen Park, West Villages, North Port, Venice, Nokomis, and Osprey—and we offer 24/7 repair services! Contact us today to fix your noisy AC.