When your air conditioning system is operating correctly, it should be relatively quiet except perhaps for a slight hum when the motor is running or the whispering sound of conditioned air blowing through the registers and ducts. However, hearing a rattling sound or other startling or loud noises is not normal. It may be something relatively minor like a loose screw, or it might signify that your air conditioning part is beginning to fail.
Debris in the Unit
One of the most common reasons your AC may make a rattling noise is debris in the outside condenser unit. The condenser removes the heat inside your home, expelling it outside. It is not uncommon for leaves, twigs, and other debris to blow through the fan cage. You may hear rattling sounds as the rotating fan blades interact with the debris when the air conditioner turns on.
Damaged Fan Blades
Normal wear and tear, environmental conditions, and hard organic objects such as twigs, rocks, or pebbles can loosen, bend, and damage the condenser fan blades resulting in a rattling sound. You may also hear rattling if the blades are improperly installed or knocked out of alignment.
Loose panels, screws, and other parts in the air handler, furnace, or compressor can make a rattling noise when they are not tightened or become loose. For example, it can occur when the panels are removed for cleaning or servicing, and the screws are not properly tightened. Motor vibrations can also cause parts to loosen and rattle inside the unit.
Worn Motor Bearings
As your air conditioner ages, the bearings and other parts inside the motor become worn or break, and you may hear a rattling noise coming from the AC unit. If the motor is not immediately repaired, it could become damaged beyond repair.
Compressor is Failing
The compressor will also start to rattle when it is no longer functioning properly. Since this is often a sign that a component is about to fail, it will require a trained service technician to replace worn or faulty parts before further expensive AC damage occurs.
Clogged Air Filter
It’s essential to replace the air filter at least every 90 days for optimum AC performance and comfort. Otherwise, dust, allergens, and debris will clog the filter. In addition, the restricted airflow increases the load on the blower motor that can cause rattling noises. The reduced efficiency and performance will also increase energy consumption resulting in higher utility bills.
Fixing Noisy Air Conditioners
Hearing strange noises like rattling coming from your air conditioner is usually a sign that your a/c needs maintenance or repair. It is important to have a technician service the unit as soon as possible to avoid further damage and expense. Air conditioning units require specialized tools and parts and should only be serviced by a qualified AC repair technician. Trying to service a unit yourself can result in more damage or even injury.
If your AC is making a rattling sound or other unusual noises, contact Florida Air Express to schedule a service call. Our trained, factory-authorized technicians service most makes and models throughout the Winter Haven-Lakeland areas.