Why is Your Aircon Compressor Noisy and How to Fix It

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The air conditioner compressor is responsible for the main function of your unit: it circulates the refrigerant around your cooling system so the freon can cool the air properly. The system normally operates quietly, so loud noises coming from your air conditioner compressor indicates a problem or issue with your unit.

Different sounds connote different problems, and the most common noises are caused by factors that are relatively easy to repair, such as rattling debris, or a misaligned fan. However, more complex issues that pertain to electrical or mechanical components must be repaired by a professional.

Causes of A Noisy AC Compressor

Reason #1: Loose Parts or Debris

Air conditioners have several parts that may come loose due to age or wear and tear. You can often hear a banging or rattling noise that indicates a part of your air conditioner has come loose, and is rattling around your unit. Debris can cause similar sounds as the AC vents serve as entryways for large pieces of debris like stones, plastic parts, and screws.

The outdoor unit is most susceptible to harboring pieces of debris within the unit as it is exposed to the outdoor elements. Leaves, sticks, and nuts can find their way into the outdoor air conditioning unit, causing a rattling or banging noise when you turn the air conditioner on.

Reason #2: Faulty Fan Motor or Fan Blades

An air conditioner that emits helicopter-like sounds is most likely having issues with the condenser fan motor or blades. The motor may need to top up on lubricant, or the blades might have bent or misaligned, bumping into other components inside the unit.

The fan is located near the compressor, and the blades may be hitting the component, causing a grinding noise to come from your AC compressor. There may also be debris struck between the blades, or the fan may have come loose. These require immediate repair before the fan can further damage your unit.

Reason #3: Faulty Compressor

Sometimes, the noises coming from your air conditioner are actually coming from a faulty AC compressor. A grinding noise happens when your compressor is overworked or worn out, which is a common issue in older units or air conditioning units that are improperly maintained. The sound is caused by the worn-down piston pin forcefully working to compress the refrigerant.

A faulty compressor calls for an expensive compressor replacement, and depending on the gravity of the malfunction, professional HVAC technicians may recommend you to replace the entire unit instead of replacing or repairing the compressor.

Reason #4: Electrical Problem

A high-frequency humming or buzzing noise may indicate an electrical problem with your air conditioner. Your unit may have faulty wiring, exposed cables, grounded wires, or other issues with electrical parts. The buzzing or humming noise is caused by the electromagnetic field flowing currents of energy. This sound is usually quiet, so a loud noise indicates a problem.

Reason #5: Blockages or Pressure Inside Your Air Conditioner

A hissing noise would indicate a blockage in your air compressor, such as a clog, refrigerant leak, or debris blocking the valves. A squealing noise or screaming noise, on the other hand, is caused by high internal pressure from your air conditioner, which may indicate other underlying problems with your compressor.

These issues can cause further damage to your air conditioning system, so it is best to contact one of our experienced technicians to diagnose and solve the problem before your air conditioner breaks down.

Troubleshooting Guide

Tip #1: Check for Loose or Broken Parts

Air conditioner noises coming from loose or broken parts have relatively easy troubleshooting solutions. Flash a light through the vents of your air conditioner, and check for any debris that may be causing these noises. Unplug your air conditioner and remove the debris using a long stick, or open the housing to manually clean the inside of the unit.

Tip #2: Bend Misaligned Blades

Open the housing of the outdoor unit while your cooling system is unplugged, and look for the fan with misaligned blades. Bend the blades back into its original position, and do a test run of the fan to make sure the blades aren't hitting any other components.

Tip #3: Replace Faulty Parts

An air conditioner making noise from a bad AC compressor may be too late for repairs, but for other faulty parts such as malfunctioning motors or worn-out components, our Luce Aircon technicians will be more than glad to assist you in the replacement of these parts.

When it's time to replace your entire air conditioning unit, you can rest assured that our technicians will guide you through finding the right unit, brand, and model that fits your requirements. We'll handle the installation and checkup too!

Tip #4: Contact an Electrician for Electrical Problems

Any problems pertaining to electrical components must be dealt with by a professional. Refrain from troubleshooting the problem yourself, and instead look for a trusted and experienced electrician to fix the issue.

Tip #5: Schedule a Chemical Wash

A chemical wash would keep your AC unit running properly, and deep cleans the dust and debris out of your unit. This is recommended to older units that have not been properly maintained in a long time, but you should consider a routine deep clean once a year as well.

All-Around Aircon Service Company

At Luce Aircon, we pride ourselves at providing only the best in aircon services to our clients all across Singapore. Our experienced and knowledgeable HVAC professionals are well-versed in diagnosing and solving common air conditioner problems, so you can be sure we'll get your unit up and running smoothly again!

Give us a call, and let's schedule your air conditioner for a routine cleaning and maintenance checkup!

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