Air Conditioning 101: What are AC Vibration Pads for?

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As with most machines, air conditioners tend to vibrate while in operation as air conditioning systems have several moving mechanical parts that can make the unit move. The vibration is often negligible, and goes unnoticed by homeowners. However, some air conditioners may vibrate heavily due to improper installation, powerful motors, and other reasons.

To stop the vibrations, homeowners may have the unit re-installed to a proper setting, or seal off the gaps and edges of the air conditioner mount with plywood, silicone, or other materials. However, these are permanent fixes that not every homeowner can do. Thus, anti-vibration pads provide a quick and temporary solution to the problem.

What are Air Conditioner Vibration Pads?

As the name suggests, anti-vibration pads are used to stop vibrations from becoming too intense. These are used in select air conditioner types, most notably on the indoor units of wall-mounted mini split systems, window air conditioners, and through the wall AC units.

These are rubber pads, sometimes foam pads or EVA pads, that are noise absorbing, and create a tight fit around the air conditioning unit to prevent vibrations from shaking the air conditioner too much. Vibrations aren't destructive on their own, but intense vibrations can cause the internal components of the air conditioner to shake around, hitting other components in the process.

This can cause damages to the air conditioner, particularly for heavy vibrations. Anti-vibration pads are meant to cushion air conditioners, preventing them from shaking their components around. Vibration pads prevent damages to your AC unit.

The Importance of an AC Anti-vibration Pads

Vibration pads are not requirements for every air conditioning unit, and these are typically used for wall-mounted, and through the wall air conditioners. However, for units with loose or ill-fitting mounts, having anti-vibration pads around the indoor unit will help prevent the air conditioner from falling or shaking, and therefore prevents damages to the unit.

Anti-vibration pads are commonly used in heavy duty equipments to prevent the internal components from shaking around. Similar to heavy machinery, vibration pads keep air conditioners in place, maintaining quiet operations.

There are also vibration pads meant for the air compressor specially designed not to suffocate the air compressor, or keep the exhaust heat in the AC unit. These vibration pads are ideal for outdoor units, especially as outdoor units are exposed to the elements.

Diagnosing a Faulty AC Anti-vibration Pads

#1 Air Conditioner Continues to Vibrate

If the air conditioner continues to vibrate intensely despite adding vibration pads, then the problem is most likely due to a faulty, old, or inadequate pad. Change the pads, and work with an HVAC technician to find the ideal material, size, and thickness needed for your AC unit.

#2 Anti-vibration Pads are Crumbling

Rubber pads and foam pads can eventually crumble due to heat, moisture, and other factors. When this happens, the vibration pads may make a mess around your air conditioning unit, and may not work as well as it should. Replace the pads once you notice them starting to crumble.

#3 Anti-vibration Pads are Too Thick/Too Thin

If the vibration pads are too thick, then it can block the airflow in and around your air conditioner. If the pads are too thin, they may not prevent your AC unit from vibrating. Check the intensity of the vibration, as well as the size of your unit and your AC mount to get the right thickness for the vibration pads.

AC Vibration Pads Maintenance

Vibration pads require very little maintenance other than the occasional readjustment to its original position. The air conditioner vibrations may cause the pads to move away from its original location, so you may need to adjust the pads when this happens.

Pads should be changed once they show signs of breaking down. This will prevent the pads from making a mess around the home, and will maintain the anti-vibration effect of the pads on the air conditioning unit.

For more tips and tricks on everything HVAC, check out our blog!

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