The easiest way to tell if something is wrong with your unit is to listen for any strange noises. If you hear a rattling sound coming from your AC, it could mean that your unit needs maintenance or a new part.
Summer temperatures in the southwest U.S. have been reaching record-breaking highs, and there’s no end in sight. If you live in Arizona or Nevada, you’ll want to make sure your AC unit is in good working order for the coming heat waves.
Learning more about the possible reasons why your air conditioner is rattling can help you identify the problem and fix it before the scorching summer heat sets in. These are the top five reasons why your air conditioner might rattle.
1. Compressor Malfunction
Your AC’s compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant throughout the unit, which is what keeps your home cool. If your compressor malfunctions, it could cause your air conditioner to make a rattling noise.
If something’s wrong with your compressor, you’ll probably also notice that your unit isn’t properly cooling your home. Compressor issues can be difficult to resolve without the help of a skilled technician. A professional will be able to diagnose your unit further and replace any malfunctioning parts.
2. Worn Out Motor
Air conditioning units have both an inner motor and an outer motor. If one of them stops working, you might notice a rattling noise coming from your unit. If you suspect that there’s a problem with your AC’s motor, a professional can find a solution.
The two most common causes of AC motor issues are broken bearings and a lack of lubrication. An HVAC technician can fix your bearings and properly lubricate your motor in a short visit. Once your motor is back up and running, you’ll be able to keep you and your family cool throughout the harshest heat waves.
3. Loose Screws
Loose screws can be another possible cause behind your AC’s rattling sound. Over time, the screws that keep panels and other parts of your AC fixed in place can loosen and fall out. While loose screws and panels don’t pose an immediate risk to your AC, you’ll want to have them repaired to avoid annoying sounds and future problems.
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4. Fan Blade Issues
Brand new air conditioning units have internal fans that are fixed in a precise position. However, after years of use, AC fan blades can become misaligned. When that happens, the blades begin to strike other parts of the unit, causing a rattling noise.
Waiting too long to repair a misaligned fan blade can cause other more expensive issues with your unit. That’s why we recommend having a professional stop by to take a look at your AC. They’ll reorient your fan and make any other necessary repairs.
5. Debris Caught in Your Unit
Outdoor air conditioning units are liable to collect bits of debris like twigs, dirt, and tiny rocks. If your unit is making a rattling sound, it may be due to an excessive amount of debris in your AC. Make sure you have a technician clean out your unit every season to ensure your AC has a long lifespan.
Additional AC Noises to Listen for This Summer
Rattling isn’t the only sound your air conditioner might make. In fact, there are several other AC noises that indicate different issues. Arming yourself with knowledge about your HVAC system is the best way to prevent expensive problems and keep your units in amazing shape.
Here are some common AC noises and what they might mean:
Clicking or Tapping
Clicking and tapping noises coming from your unit may indicate that there’s a small object stuck in your unit. To prevent damage from occurring, we suggest removing any foreign objects from the inside of your unit. If the noise continues after you’ve removed the obstruction, call a technician to come take a look at it.
Clanking or Banging
While some causes of clanking noises aren’t major issues, others can be signs of underlying problems. Vents that have expanded due to excessive heat may cause a clanking or banging noise, but they don’t pose a threat to your unit.
However, clanking caused by loose hardware or internal obstructions may constitute a more serious problem. If you hear a clanking or banging noise coming from your air conditioner, check for possible obstructions and make sure your motor mounts and other pieces of hardware are secured tightly. If the noise persists, contact an HVAC professional for help.
Screeching or Squealing
If you hear a screeching or squealing noise coming from your unit, you probably have an issue with your blower fan. A simple DIY fix for a blower fan problem is to make sure nothing is hitting or rubbing against your fan belt or its pulleys.
You’ll want to call a technician if you don’t find anything obstructing your fan belt. A tech will see if your fan motor needs lubrication or if one of your unit’s bearings has failed. They’ll also ensure that your AC’s compressor isn’t malfunctioning, as that would be another cause of such noises.
Call a Professional if Your Air Conditioner Is Rattling
If you hear a rattling sound or another strange noise coming from your air conditioner, calling a professional is most likely your best option. A NATE-certified HVAC tech from Ambient Edge can look at your unit and figure out why your air conditioner is rattling.
Once they’ve diagnosed your AC, they’ll make the fixes necessary to get it running like brand new and without excess noise. If they discover a major problem with their unit, they’ll help you determine whether it would be better to repair or replace your AC. Contact us today for the expert HVAC assistance you need to stay comfortable this summer.