Loud AC units can not only wake the baby and distract you from whatever you were trying to do this evening; they can also cause your neighbors to complain. But whether you're worried about your personal peace and quiet or your neighbor's, a noisy AC unit can be a real challenge. Here are three tips for dealing with unusually loud AC units.
Sometimes the reason your unit is making so much noise is simply because it's not functioning at an optimal level. This may be entirely your fault. Think back over this summer; have you been keeping the unit's moving parts lubricated and keeping the fan blades and condenser fins clean? Try doing some simple home maintenance as a first step toward noise management. As a bonus, this maintenance will also help your unit work more efficiently. Switch off the unit's power before you start. Then perform these fan maintenance steps:
- Remove lid and clean fan blades with a damp cloth
- Remove any debris around the fan and straighten any bent blades
- Tighten the screw at the center of the fan
Once you've finished the fan, set it aside (out of reach of the water from your hose) while you clean the condenser fins. You can do this by first vacuuming the fins from the outside to remove dead leaves and other debris, then spraying the fins with a hose, working from the inside and spraying out. Next, oil the AC motor and then put the unit back together to test if the sounds are less disturbing.
2. Professional repairs
If the noise level worsens or if your unit is making an unusual sound, it may be that you need professional repairs. Some sounds that distressed AC units make include shrieking, banging or loud rattling, or clicking sounds that won't stop (as opposed to one click when the unit turns on and one when it turns off). If you hear these sounds or some other sound that your unit doesn't normally make, you shouldn't wait for the neighbors to complain; you should call a repairman right away.
3. Noise-blocking installations
If your unit simply runs loud and isn't quieted by repairs or maintenance, you may need to block or muffle the noise. You can do this either by using muffling blankets sold by manufacturers or by building an enclosure lined with noise-cancelling material to physically contain the sound and stop it from reaching the neighbor's house. If you decide to build an enclosure, be sure to build it at the correct distance from each side of the unit so it doesn't block airflow.
These three steps can help you approach your AC unit's noise problem from a variety of perspectives. The first two strike at the cause of a potential AC noise problem, and the final step allows you to control the noise even if you can't stop your unit from making it. For more information about your specific air conditioning needs, contact an HVAC contractor like Always Ready Repair.