Updated August 15, 2023
Do you hear a squeaking noise when you turn on your air conditioning unit? If so, read along to find out why that happens. Your air conditioner needs to function to keep your home cool and comfortable during the hot summer months. However, an air conditioner making a strange noise can be concerning and even alarming for some homeowners. Whether it’s a hum, whir or squeak, any abnormal sound from your cooling system is a cause for concern. An overheating AC unit can pose a fire risk and should be serviced immediately if you hear unusual noises. Read on to discover more about common reasons why your air conditioner is squeaking and what you can do about it.
Check Your Condenser
Your condenser is the large, finned piece of metal outside and behind your home. It’s the part of your AC unit that brings in warm air and turns it into cool air. Loose fins could cause a squeaking sound on the condenser. If the fins are loose, they’ll vibrate when the AC turns on and off, which causes the squeaking sound. To remedy this problem, tighten the fins with pliers and add duct tape to create a tighter seal.
Ensure the fins on the condenser aren’t broken, bent or rusted; this can lead to an overheated AC and an increased fire risk. If you find any rust on your condenser (the parts in contact with your home), it’s time to get a new AC unit. Rust can damage your home, and it can also cause your AC system to fail.
If your AC is installed in a way that allows you to remove the ductwork, you might notice some movement when the AC kicks on. That’s normal. However, if excessive or extreme movement happens when you turn on your air conditioner, there could be a reason for that. There are many components of your ductwork. One or more parts of the ductwork may be loose, causing the loud squeaking noise. If a pipe, joint, or connection is loose, it might cause your squeaking noise. To fix this problem, you’ll likely need to have a professional come out to take a look at your AC system. The cause of your squeaking noise may be a simple fix. However, it’s best to have a pro look at it to be safe.
A Dirty Filter
If your AC filter is dirty, your cooling system may be overworking to compensate for the extra dirt and debris in the system. This can create a lot of extra noise that sounds similar to squeaking noise. If this is the cause of your AC noise, clean your filter, and you should notice the squeaking noise go away. Depending on the season, you may need to clean your filter more regularly. Make sure to clean your filter regularly to keep your cooling system in good working order and to keep your energy bills low. Dirty filters can cause your AC to overwork and use more energy than necessary.
Rotors That Are Out of Balance
If you hear a squeaking noise from your AC, one possible cause could be an imbalance in the rotors inside. If the rotor inside your AC unit isn’t balanced correctly, it can create a squeaking noise. This can be a sign of an issue with the compressor. In rare cases, this can also lead to an overpressure situation, which can cause damage to your AC unit. If your AC has been making a squeaking noise for a while, you may have a larger problem on your hands. In this case, you should have your AC unit inspected by a professional as soon as possible.
Rotor Shaft Seal Is Leaking
A squeaking sound from your AC might be caused by a problem with the rotor shaft seal. The shaft seal is located at the bottom of the rotor and helps keep your system from leaking. You’ll know if it’s broken or leaking because you’ll see liquid collecting in your AC unit. This can originate from a buildup of weathering, rust, or even a faulty seal. If this is the cause of your AC noise, you’ll need to have the rotor shaft seal replaced.
There are numerous factors to consider when it comes to keeping your home at the perfect temperature. From humidity levels to ventilation and air circulation, Spot On Heating Air & Plumbing can help determine which system is best for your Whittier home. Whether you’re considering an upgrade or a new installation, our expert technicians can advise on which system suits you and your home. If you have any questions about your home AC, get in touch with our office. We provide heating, cooling, and plumbing services.