For anyone who has a noisy air conditioner, it would be a great joy to have a tranquil room without the ‘humming or buzzing’ sound.
Your air conditioner will definitely produce noise. That’s a guarantee. But it should be small and negligible (less than 75 decibels) to the extent you will have to pay attention to hear the sound.
That said, a quiet air conditioner is important for many reasons. You want that kind of peace and quietness that favors sleep. You want to converse easily with your visitor irrespective if the air conditioner is working or not. But this is impossible because the AC is loud like a metallic drum.
You want to place a hand on the source of the problem and deal with it. And since you don’t know, you are thinking of getting a new one.
What if you can make that noisy air conditioner quieter?
Before you roll your eyes, listen. The cause of the noise can be determined, and if you understand how to go about it, you can correct it.
Some of these errors might have been developed during the installation. Or the problem might be a noisy air conditioner blower. And though it seems getting a new one will be a good (and expensive) choice, some simple activities can give you the quietness you want.
And that’s what you will read in this post in 5 simple steps.
Before that, you will need to know the reasons for noise so that you can correct it effectively.
Why is your air conditioner making a loud buzzing noise?
In a typical air conditioner, one of the parts is called a compressor. The compressor helps to cool or pressurize a fluid (the refrigerant) in the system. So the cooling effect you experience is characteristics of the refrigerant and function of the compressor.
When something is up with this compressor, the buzzing sound will call your attention. Also, it could be that the amount of electrical voltage that flows into the air conditioner in the outdoor area is too high or too low.
Another reason might be because some parts are loose or missing. As you have read earlier, the Air Conditioner (AC) contains many parts and features. The moving ones should be moving freely.
The fixed parts should be fixed so that the performance of the whole system is at the best. Therefore, a bussing sound could be a result of parts being loose, parts which are supposed to be fixed or screwed tight.
Noisy air conditioner blower is caused by a dirty or unclean blower. The dirty blower will make the system exert a lot of force and power to perform its cooling capabilities and thereby causing buzzing noise.
One more thing that could cause the noise is the sudden increase in environmental temperature. Increase in temperature means the AC will do more work to keep things cool which will result in louder noise.
How To Reduce Noise From Return Air?
Noisy air condition blower or noise from return air when you turn on the air conditioner can be because of different reasons. Below are examples of the noise, the likely cause, and the solution.
Loud noise when starting
One of the common reasons is electrical issues inside the compressor, capacitor or thermostat. Also, this noise may be followed by the engine’s failure to start.
You should try seeing a technician to properly correct the errors in the parts of the system, namely the compressor, the thermostat or the capacitor.
The problem might be aged or worn out of the parts, and the engineer would advise you on what to do. In a serious situation, the technician will to replace (not only repair) the parts or the system.
Making noise after shut off
When the noise happens as the machine is turning off, there is a problem with the air filter. Some users of air conditioners install air filter that reduces considerably the quantity of air that goes inside the filter.
This would lead to the problem we are talking about. How?
The system will try to pull in more air into the filter and in the process do more than expected. This could even get worse when the filter is sucked into the ductwork.
Another reason for the slamming noise is a dirty filter. This is clear enough: if the filter is dirty, it will be difficult for air to pass through and the system will try to draw in more air into the filter.
This will lead to the noise in the system and possibly more problem for the filter.
Change the air filter.
The new choice should not be as restrictive as the old restrictive one, and its thickness should be greater than 1 inch. Notice the MERV rating; it should be less than 10.
If the problem is a dirty filter, then your job is to clean the air filter. To do that, remove the filter when the air conditioner is off and clean it with a brush. Depending on the amount of dirt inside, you can use a mild detergent and warm water to wash it clean.
Loud compressor noise
You have read about the duty of the compressor. (Reminder: it cools or pressurizes the refrigerant). Now if this part is making a loud noise, then it has begun to fail or it is completely bad.
The compressor works because of an internal bearing and other components. When one of the interior components fails to work properly or the sealed bearing stops, the compressor produces noise.
Notice the sound carefully; it might sound like something is grinding against another to tell you the bearing seizes. Or it might be the belt squeals as if under some pressure. The bearing is damaged or worn out.
The first step is maintenance.
Ensure your air conditioner is serviced regularly to prevent the complete breakdown of parts like the compressor.
To fix the problems with the AC compressor will involve opening up the system. It is also important if you talk to a technician.
The problem will be properly diagnosed and the technician will know if the solution is a simple repair of the compressor or total replacement.
Making pulsating noise
This type of noise is a bit frightening. It is rhythmic, and it comes from inside the system when it is working. Although you don’t need to be scared, you need to fix the problem and do it fast.
The noise is coming from inside the compressor, repetitive sound like the timer in a digital clock.
This problem can leave you confused because the source of the problem can be traced to a variety of sources. It could be that the line-set is colliding with the body of the structure or it could be the platform on which you place the air conditioner.
There are two possible solutions to this problem.
First, try to isolate the pad of the system and check.
Or try to check the line-set of the system and ensure it is charging properly.
If the problem persists, try to see a technician who would fix the problem inside the compressor and the fan motor.
Making loud noise inside the unit
The main reason is an aging fan belt.
When you hear a kind of squealing noise inside the unit, the problem is with the fan belt. The problem is worn out fan belt or the belt isn’t aligned correctly.
At times you will stop hearing this noise as though it is solved without effort. Unfortunately, that is not the case. Temperature and humidity influence the noise indirectly.
These two factors are responsible for the expansion or contraction of the belt which then leads to noise.
You could talk to a technician and see what could be done about the situation. His task would be to replace the AC belt.
It is only in other severe situations will you be required to get a new AC.
5 Ideas on How to Quiet a Noisy Air Conditioner
Here is the simplest advice you will ever hear about a noisy air conditioner (AC): get a new one!
Some of the reasons a new air conditioner would be advisable include.
- Better and improved design, especially if you are using a very old design. The new designs have many features that enhance comfort and convenience.
- New models of AC are generally quieter than older ones
- Most of them operate at a lower speed
Nevertheless, don’t be surprised if a cheap AC makes a lot of noise than an expensive one. That’s normal. Unlike cheaper AC, an expensive one will be designed with features which are better in terms of the noise level.
But here is the truth: getting a new one is not all you have.
Though this advice is the best for many reasons, it is not the only option you have You have other options. They are below. Follow them and enjoy a quieter space when the air conditioner is working.
Start with location
This is a good decision especially if you haven’t installed the AC. Choose the location carefully before you make a choice. It will effectively make the sound from the AC quieter than before.
Keep the AC away from spaces and rooms where people use often. This will ensure that people aren’t disturbed with the noise even it’s just little.
How do you that? Install the air conditioner outside the house or in areas where it irritates you less.
Look at it carefully; if you move the noisy air conditioner away from your room, will the noise level be the same as when you install it at your doorstep?
Generally, you will reduce the amount of noise getting to your room from the machine when it is farther away. And your neighbor will enjoy their peace if it is far away from their window too.
So before you install it, find a good location and keep the comfort of everyone around in mind.
✘ Things you shouldn’t do
Don’t install the air conditioner in a corner between two walls, especially brick walls.
Walls can amplify sounds to form echo. And when the noise generated from the system hits the wall around the corner, it would increase the sound, leading to a louder noise.
Obstruct the sound with walls
Noise is a form of sound.
So let’s see it as sound for a few minutes and look at some of its characteristics: sound refracts or reflects when in contact with another surface. A very solid surface will completely block sound from being absorbed or transferred.
So if you obstruct the noise from the air conditioner with a solid object such as a strong wall or other noise repelling materials, the noise will reduce.
Imagine you have installed the AC, then the next step of action is to construct a solid wall between the source of the noise and you. The materials could be any of brick, wood, metal, and concrete.
Are you constructing another house?
Oh! When you heard construct ‘walls,’ you thought you are constructing another house-like structure. NO.
Here is how to go about it:
You are going to make four walls around the air conditioner and make it a little taller. That’s all.
Now, don’t just make two angled walls around it. Make it four.
This will prevent the problem analyzed in the first step above about putting the AC in a corner between two walls.
You might simply use some bamboo woods to construct these walls; it will do the job fine. And ensure you put some distance between the wall and the fence.
The distance will lower the rate at which the sound hits the wall of the fence and that is one of the techniques of reducing the noise level. Even the distance is a room for air circulation and human movement in case you want to work on the machine later.
Also, if you place some greenery around the air conditioner, you will make the process more effective.
Everything that’s properly maintained will last longer. If that sounds like a rule, then make it a rule. Obey it and you will enjoy the reward.
As you have read through the most likely causes of noise and their solution, you have noticed that the majority of the problem is a result of some malfunctioning parts. This could have been corrected if the owners and users had considered good maintenance habit.
In an effort to give the air conditioner good maintenance, ensure you opt in for a good maintenance service around you.
Firstly, it will prevent some of the common problems the system could have. And it would save you a lot of repair cost.
The main activity under maintenance is cleaning, cleaning of areas that could possibly be clogged with dust. In fact, this act alone can be the reason the level of noise from the AC will drop.
For instance, cleaning the air filter regularly will reduce the noise associated with turning off the air conditioner.
Get a soundproof blanket
Just like the knowledge you have about constructing a barrier between the air conditioner and you, the blanket also works that way.
Call them acoustic blankets; they are made with soundproofing qualities to lower the noise level from AC (about 40% reduction or more).
Because it is already manufactured, it is super-easy to use than constructing a wall. You buy this acoustic blanket and use them. No difficult step involved. And the prices are affordable.
However, you should look out for some things in the blanket before you choose. They are simple things and they would ensure you aren’t damaging the air conditioner slowly.
The blanket must allow some passage for air so as to ensure the system isn’t heating up when covered. Usually, you will find a loop and hook on the blanket which will serve this purpose.
Also, the blanket size should fit all types or models of AC. If not all, at least a few. You don’t want to go around looking for a specific size before you can get one.
Here are my recommended products that you can use for this purpose.
Quiet the water noise in outside air conditioner
Water noise is irritating. They make you cringe. Especially when it is summer and the rooms are hot, you will like to open the windows.
But you don’t want to open the window and see the sight of fluid dripping down from the AC let alone the noise. So you sigh.
Your air conditioner is spitting out water. What should you do?
Get a hose and a bottle. Attach one of the ends of the hose to that of the air conditioner and the other end goes inside the bottle. (Ensure the bottle is a bit big.)
The water will flow directly into the bottle and you will save yourself the irritating water noise.
To Sum Up
And that is how to solve the problem of the air conditioner. Although there are other options, the above are the ones that best solve the problem while keeping everyone’s interest in mind.
Another option is you might soundproof the interior of your room so that the noise will not get in. But this option will only favor you and not your neighbors or other rooms.
Check other steps in the article (especially step one and two) to ensure you consider other people’s comfort.
If all else fails, remember that a new AC will be a good choice if all else fails. New and latest designs have better features which make them generally quieter. But before you make this decision, you have five options to explore. Check the steps, explore them and see what happens.
if you wish to know about the Best 8 ways to soundproof a room, don’t forget to read it.