A noisy air conditioner can drown out all the pleasant sounds of the summer day and make it hard to simply relax and enjoy being outside. Not only is a loud AC annoying, but it can also indicate that a serious problem is brewing. You should consider your noisy air conditioner a warning sign that maintenance, repairs, or a replacement might be on the horizon.

Here at Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air, we understand the importance of having a quiet air conditioner in San Diego. That’s why we put together a quick guide to help you understand why your AC is noisy and what you can do about it. Continue reading to learn nine ways you can quiet a loud air conditioner.

1. Change the AC Air Filter

When the HVAC air filter gets dirty, your AC has to work harder to push air through it. This causes the motor and fan to work harder, which increases the noise. And since the air conditioner has to work for longer in order to get the same results, you’ll have to hear the AC running more frequently. Luckily, this problem has an easy solution. All you have to do is swap out the older filter with a clean one.

2. Clean Up the External Unit

The external unit of an air conditioner stays outside all-year round, which means it’s exposed to seriously harsh conditions. Twigs, grass clippings, and mulch can make their way into the unit. If bushes or trees are growing nearby, they may even grow into the unit itself. Blockages can be noisy and create a slapping or crunching sound. Take a look at your air conditioner and see if you can clear away anything that appears to be caught inside of it.

3. Schedule an AC Inspection

If your air conditioner is unusually loud or has suddenly become loud, there may be a mechanical problem to blame. The best way to identify a problem is with an AC inspection. During an inspection, a trained technician will closely evaluate your system for performance issues.

Some common AC problems that cause noise are:

  • Loose screws and brackets
  • Dirty fan blades
  • A damaged compressor
  • A loose condenser unit
  • A dirty air filter

If your AC is suffering from any of these common problems, we’ll find it and fix it. During a maintenance appointment, we’ll also lubricate the parts and clean out any dead leaves, grass, or twigs from the external unit. This will result in your AC having a smoother, quieter operation.

4. Install a Fence or Bushes

If your AC is working fine but is still loud, you may want to consider adding bushes or building a fence near the unit. Placing a physical barrier around the unit should help dampen the sound of the compressor. You will likely still be able to hear it, but it should be much quieter. It can also improve the overlook of your yard, as air conditioner units aren’t known for being attractive.

If you do decide to plant bushes or install a fence, there are a few things you should keep in mind. The first is that the AC unit will require adequate ventilation. For that reason, try to leave a buffer of open space between the unit and your new landscaping. If you decide to go with the fence option, be sure that the fence is higher than the condenser. As for the bushes, you’ll have to keep them pruned so they don’t grow into the unit and damage any components. With a little bit of planning and maintenance, you can greatly reduce the sight and sound of your air conditioner.

5. Use a Compressor Blanket

A compressor blanket is a special covering for your AC. The blanket is designed to dampen the sound of the compressor, which is one of the noisiest components of an AC. Even though it sounds easy to install a compressor blanket, we recommend letting the pros handle it. An improperly installed blanket can limit airflow to the unit or cause it to overheat.

6. Install a Smaller AC

It’s a common mistake for homeowners to install a large AC when trying to maximize their home’s energy efficiency. Unfortunately, an outsized AC leads to higher energy consumption, reduced performance, and louder operation. This is because the condenser is too large, which causes the AC to constantly turn on and turn off. This is called “short cycling,” and it’s both noisy and disruptive. Furthermore, short cycling causes parts to wear out quicker, which can also lead to a host of unusual noises like clanking, banging, and popping.

If you suspect your AC is too large for your house, the best solution is a replacement. We’ll help you choose a new AC that is correctly sized for your home. After the installation is completed, you should notice a much smoother, quieter performance while the unit cools down your home.

7. Relocate Your Air Conditioner

Depending on your home’s layout, the AC might be close to a common area or living space. For example, having an AC unit right outside your bedroom window might be fine during the day, but it can be a real nuisance when you’re trying to sleep. Cooling units installed between brick walls or next to reflective surfaces also suffer from amplified noise levels. If your unit is inconveniently located, you can speak with a professional about relocating it to a better spot. A trained technician will be able to tell you which areas of your property are best for canceling noise from a loud AC unit.

8. Replace an Outdated AC

As a rule of thumb, newer model air conditioners will always sound quieter than older models. This is due to recent advancements in building technology, like quieter fans and compressors. If your AC is eight years old or older, you may want to consider replacing it with a newer model. This should immediately cut down on the amount of noise it makes.

9. Upgrade Your Air Conditioner

Cheaper air conditioners have a reputation for being noisier than their higher-end counterparts. In fact, AC manufacturers build premium units with reduced noise. If your AC is functioning properly but is still too noisy, you can think about upgrading to a premium model that is designed for quieter, more efficient operation. When the time comes to look for a new AC, our San Diego cooling technicians would be happy to help you narrow down an option that matches your needs and budget.

Your Local AC Pros

You don’t have to let a noisy air conditioner interfere with your enjoyment of summer. Instead, let us help you determine the cause and find the best solution. You can trust our team to offer accurate diagnoses and service, whether your AC or furnace needs routine maintenance, repairs, or a full replacement. We also provide plumbing services.

To learn more about how you can best care for your cooling system, call Tarpy Plumbing, Heating & Air in Santee today!

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