Why is My AC Unit Making a Squealing Noise?

By April 10, 2018 Air Conditioning, HP News, Tips
air conditioner squealing noise br mcginty arkansas

When transitioning from winter to spring weather, it could mean any number of things when your air conditioning unit needs some routine maintenance. With our last post, we walked you through necessary steps to take in preparing your outdoor AC unit for the more regular usage that the weather shift requires.

Cleaning and maintaining is one thing, but what if after all that there is still a high-pitched squealing noise? It’s highly more likely that you’ll experience this in the spring, as your compressor/capacitor has been exposed to the winter elements for months at a time (including ice). What could this sound mean and is there an easy way to fix it?

If you’re experiencing this issue, it is likely one of three things: the bearings on your condenser fan’s motor, the belt connecting the motor to the blower has slipped, or it’s actually not a problem at all.

Here are a few tips to help diagnose the problem and a pointer on how to fix your noisy AC unit.

  1. If it’s not a problem – Many units emit a slight squeal under normal operation. This is especially the case when, at this point in the year, it has been sitting for several months and just needs to work out its kinks. A good indication that this is in fact the case is the brevity of the noise. If it’s nothing to worry about then the noise will be slight and only last for a few minutes. If it’s any longer than a few moments and any louder than ‘slight,’ then you should investigate other causes (see below).
  2. If it’s the belt connecting the motor to the blower – Most newer units do away with the belt system. If you have an older unit and happen to know that it is belt driven, then the issue is more than likely that the belts have been worn over the years and have slipped. You’ll hear this noise both outside and coming through the vents inside your home. If this is indeed the cause, your next step would be to replace the belt or call us.
  3. If it’s the bearings attached to your unit’s condenser fan – All newer units have direct-drive motors (meaning no belts). These sorts of units use a fan to draw air across the condenser coils located inside of your compressor. If you have a direct-drive motor then you will hear the squealing or grinding coming from your outside unit. This means that the bearings on the fan motor are shot and the motor will need to be replaced. We strongly urge you not to fix this on your own as it could increase the amount of damage to your compressor, resulting in a more costly fix.
    As you gear up for cold weather, do you experience a potent smell when you turn on your heater? Visit this blog post for simple DIY ways to identify and fix the odor(s) before the Winter hits!

Using a motor lubricant or spray lubricant on the motor shaft to temporarily relieve the noise is a temporary fix. This, however, is NOT a permanent fix and the problem should be tended to by a professional as soon as possible.

Your HVAC (AC) unit could be overworked! There are several reasons that this could be the case. Most commonly it is working too hard to decrease the humidity level inside of your home. Click here to learn from us how to decrease your in-home humidity level. We offer whole home dehumidifiers which will significantly decrease its level as well as lengthen the life of your AC unit!

That’s where we come in! Schedule an appointment with BR McGinty today to get your AC unit in proper working condition for the spring!

And if your AC unit smells funny when you turn it on? Click here for our input! Or click HERE if it’s leaking!