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An air conditioner is a convenient device, especially during summer when temperatures are high. However, a noisy window air conditioner is both irritating and annoying. The good news is, it’s easy to fix at home, especially if there are just some weak parts. If the noise is due to a mechanical breakdown, you may need to involve an expert. It is a simple DIY project that could see you save some bucks. Below here we have some useful tips on how to quiet a noisy window air conditioner. Let’s get started.
1. Check on the installation
Some rattling noise coming from a window air conditioner could be due to poor installation. Probably there could be some loose nuts, and its vibration could be causing it to shake and bang against the window frame.
Do a quick inspection and press your hands towards the windowpane and listen if there is a reduction in noise. This anomaly can easily be fixed by tightly sealing the unit to minimize any movements. You can also place small planks in between the air conditioner and window frame. If this does not work, try changing the location of your unit.
2. Check for loose screws
Sometimes the front panel could be loose, and this may cause a rattling noise. Your toolbox will come in handy. Tighten all screws and check if there is a reduction in noise. If the noise persists, try tightening the panel by use of a glue paste.
Also inspect the fasteners, rivets, and nails that secure the unit tightly on the frame. If they are loose, there may be a squeaking sound which can be bothersome, especially when you want to catch some sleep.
While at it, reinforce the joints by use of metal rods to hold the unit in place. When your air conditioner is loose, it can cause some pining sounds when the motor is vibrating. When screwing, don’t tighten as it may cause your windowpane to crack.
3. Inspect and fix the fan
At times the noise could be emanating from the fan blades. Generally, an air conditioner unit has two fans in its interior. In a normal working condition, the fan will pull air to the filter and circulate back cool air into your room. Another fan in the motor regulates the condenser’s temperature. If both fans are bent or damaged, they could make unusual sounds.
Also, dirt can accumulate on the blades and interfere with their functions. If there are loose materials stuck on the fans, it could cause some irritating noise. To inspect, start by turning off the ventilation and removing its faceplate before examining the fan’s blades.
Also have a closer look at the blades to ascertain if they are in direct contact with the cabinet, the cover, and insulation. If there are any materials such as foam insulation or dirt, use a soft brush for a quick clean up.
Before returning the faceplate, do a thorough examination to ensure all the blades are even and none is damaged. If there is a bend, it could cause a bang on the inside, thus creating a rattling noise. Rotate the unit to find out if the blades are touching the edges. At this point, bend slowly to even it.
4. Inspection of the fan bearing
Some window air conditioners usually have fans designed like a small squirrel cage. If there is noise, it could be a defective bearing and to access the unit you may need to detach the cover. Next, remove the blower wheel and motor from the fan bearing for replacement.
5. Lubricating the motor
The fan motor can produce a loud noise that can be fixed by lubricating with oil. Not unless it’s already faulty, there is no need to replace it, add some oil drops in the ports. Also, you can oil the shaft and rotate the fan unit to spread out the oil evenly.
6. Straightening the coil fins
If the coil fins are faulty, they may cause a loud noise. To fix the problem, start by dislodging the air conditioner from the window. On the rear side, detach the cover on the fins location. By use of a small and soft brush, vacuum the cooling coils and if the fins are crocked, straight slowly to prevent damage.
7. Check the electrical connection
Air conditioners may require high voltage to function properly. Sometimes you may hear a buzz or hum sound when the voltage is quite low. When fixing your unit, you may need to check the electrical connection. Other than the noise, low voltage can cause motor damage.
Read the voltage and check if there are other appliances along the circuit. Disconnect all devices and ensure your air conditioner does not share a circuit with other appliances. If the problem persists, consult an expert for further inspection. When shopping for a window air conditioner unit, consider one that runs on a voltage of between 90 and 105 volts.
8. Inspect your walls
Air conditioners need mounting on stable surfaces such as walls. Since the windows are fixed to the walls, there may be some vibrations if it is wobbly. Ensure the wall is solid enough. Verify stability by knocking gently. If the sounds are loud, then it means the call can amplify AC sounds. Therefore any attempt to fix noisy units may be fruitless if the wall is weak.
There is no need to call in a plumber to fix the walls. It may also be expensive, renovating your house. To save on costs, you can DIY easily.
Move your unit to places with thick bases where the window touches the wall. Also, you can add insulation material in the wall cavities to minimize vibrations. If you have a thick wall, you can move your air conditioner and fix it right there.
9. Grease the joints and brackets
When metal parts rub against each other, they may cause some irritating noise. Use drops of oil to lubricate the brackets and any joints. Choose a type of oil which does not thin out quickly and one which is heat resistant.
However, oil does not last for long and will eventually dry off or evaporate. Therefore, there is a need for constant lubrication, and you may adopt an oiling or greasing schedule for your unit.
10. Clean the air conditioner
Dirt and probably grime can hide on blades, vents, air filters or lovers. This dirt may make airflow with difficulty. Your air conditioner unit requires thorough vacuuming and cleaning both inside and outside. Again you can adopt a schedule, either to clean after every three months or quarterly.
When the air passages are clogged, you may hear some whistling sounds. The blockage also reduces the efficiency of the unit. If the dirt is stubborn, blow with steam. However, avoid blowing steam over wires and plastics.
On how to quiet a noisy window air conditioner
Fixing a noisy window air conditioner is a simple project which you can DIY at home. However, the quality of your unit also matters, and cheap units are noisier. High-quality units may cost more; however, they are worth the price and will also last long. While performance is a top consideration, you will spend less on replacement costs.