How To Reduce AC Noise

July 12, 2021
AC Noise in Seattle, WA

The gentle hum of well-maintained equipment is often quite soothing. Soft, whirring sounds as your AC system kicks into action are an auditory signal of the cooling relief that’s on its way. When air conditioners are working properly, they issue mild, humming noises that quickly fade into the background of daily life. However, if the air conditioner in your Seattle, WA, home is an outright noisome nuisance, you may have a problem on your hands. For many models, excess noise can be an indication of damaged parts, build-up of dirt and debris, overheating, and many other issues. The following are five ways to quiet a noisy air conditioner so that your home cooling equipment isn’t disrupting your everyday activities.

1. Schedule an Appointment for HVAC Maintenance and Inspection

When air conditioner installation is handled as a do-it-yourself project, many homeowners make the mistake of choosing models that are too large or too small for their homes. Improperly sized equipment will have to work much harder than it’s built for. This is a common cause of excess AC noise in homes with DIY AC installation. However, if a licensed company installed your air conditioner and took careful measurements of your space and chose your equipment according to those measurements, excess noise could mean that the fan blades are damaged or dirty.

Inside every air conditioner’s condenser unit is a large set of fan blades. When these blades are bent, covered in dust or other debris, or broken, they’ll make loud banging sounds when moving. Problems with the fan blades can even cause the outdoor condenser to shake. If you suspect that broken fan blades are a problem, step outside and have a listen while standing near this component. Other parts-related problems such as damaged or loose clips and screws can create excess noise as well. If the indoor compressor unit is broken, you may hear a high-pitched squealing sound whenever your cooling system is on. With a full-on system inspection, problems like these can be identified and resolved before they can cause excess wear, reduce the lifespan of your cooling equipment, or cause total air conditioner failure.

2. Create a Sound Barrier

Sometimes air conditioners are just noisy. Their loud sounds during operation may be due to the way they were installed, the nature of their designs, or their age. While many modern and highly efficient models that boast thoughtful designs tend to be quiet, older AC models get progressively noisier as time wears on.

The good news is that there are many ways to dampen and quiet the noise of aging or poorly designed cooling equipment. This is especially true when excess noise is caused by a hard-working condenser. You can have a fence barrier installed around the perimeter of the condenser so that loud sounds are muted and duly contained. You can also surround the condenser with shrubs, bushes, or other natural elements that help dampen sounds. When using these strategies, always be mindful to maintain proper clearance so that the condenser is never encroached by wild-growing branches or leaves, and so that airflow remains optimal. This is essential for preventing problems with overheating, insect infestation, and more.

3. Consider Having a Compressor Blanket Installed

Compressor blankets are sound-dampening covers that can be purchased and then installed directly over indoor compressor units. Compressor noise is incredibly common, and it’s not always the result of damaged or broken components or other problems. Compressor blankets must be specific to the AC model that you own and either designed by or approved by your AC manufacturer. Aftermarket or self-made designs can void your AC warranty and may cause more harm than good. If compressor noises are making it hard for people to watch TV, hold conversations, or enjoy their favorite music, Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning can recommend the right compressor blanket for your needs.

One very important benefit of having a compressor blanket professionally installed is being able to ensure that there aren’t any parts-related problems causing excess noise. After all, if your system is having an issue, you certainly don’t want to mute the related warning signals and forget them. During a compressor blanket installation, all compressor parts are carefully inspected and cleaned before covers with the right specifications are put on.

4. Correct Size-Related Issues

Western Washington is one of the least air-conditioned regions in the nation. With Seattle being well-known for its lengthy rain seasons, most properties aren’t built to accommodate central air conditioners, and many homes don’t have any cooling equipment at all. Now that global warming is having an obvious impact on cooling needs all throughout the Pacific Northwest, countless homeowners are opting to purchase and install air conditioners on their own. To maximize the efficiency of their equipment, many people buy the largest air conditioners they can find.

If you’ve made the mistake of installing an air conditioner that’s too large for the square footage of your home, swapping it out is important. Not only will continued use leave you struggling to hear yourself think, but it can also drive your energy bills higher. Oversized air conditioners rapidly cycle between off and on, and they never quite make homes cool. With a properly sized unit, you’ll enjoy higher levels of home comfort, more efficient operation, and lower energy bills. More importantly, you’ll finally experience some peace and quiet as well.

5. Upgrade Your Old, Outdated Cooling Equipment

Age is one of the most common causes of excess AC noise. All forms of moving equipment tend to work best when new. If you’ve had your air conditioner for many years, you’ve probably noticed that it’s grown progressively louder in recent months. This may be the case even if you have it professionally maintained annually and you’re diligent about filter changes and all other in-between service maintenance. Not only will investing in a new unit allow for quieter operation, but it will additionally give you access to all the latest and most innovative cooling system capabilities and features. New models are better at:

  • Conserving energy
  • Regulating indoor humidity
  • Promoting higher levels of indoor air quality
  • Not making loud distracting sounds

There’s also the fact that purchasing a new air conditioner while your old one is still working will help you avoid any potentially dangerous gaps in home cooling. If your aging and noisy cooling system has reached the end of its lifespan in the middle of a dangerous heat wave, you may find yourself spending days or even weeks with a home that’s too hot to inhabit.

At Brennan Heating & Air Conditioning, we offer an expansive range of home cooling, heating, and electrical services. From air conditioner maintenance, installation, and repairs to home electrical panel change-outs and circuit upgrades, we can do it all. Get in touch with us today to learn more about our services or to set up an appointment to have your noisy air conditioner inspected.

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