While it’s normal for your air conditioner to make some noise during operation, there are certain sounds that indicate a problem is brewing. Squeaking is one of those sounds, and it requires further investigation. The technicians at Galbreath & Sons, Inc. from Richmond, GA can troubleshoot your unit to determine exactly what the cause of the noise is. However, you may want to do some of your own detective work in the meantime to gauge how serious the problem is. This can help you determine whether or not you should turn off the unit while you wait for AC repairs.
If you hear a squeaking sound while your AC is running, it’s often caused by one of the following issues.
1. Worn or Misaligned Fan Belt
In many air conditioning units, the motor and fan are connected by a belt. Over time, the belt can become stretched out and fragile. Summer humidity is also hard on air conditioner belts because the heat causes them to expand and contract. As the belt fluctuates, you may notice a squealing sound coming and going throughout the day. However, if this sound persists or happens on a daily basis, the belt is most likely old or damaged and should be replaced.
2. Worn Condenser Fan Bearings
Many newer air conditioners don’t have a fan belt. Instead, the motor and condenser fan are connected via bearings. Eventually, these bearings will wear out. One of the first signs of worn-out bearings is a loud squeal when the unit is running. If you notice this sound, it’s important to take action sooner than later. This is because damaged bearings can destroy the motor over time, leading to costlier repairs and reduced comfort.
3. Pressure in the Condenser
If pressure is building up in the condenser unit, it often makes a high-pitched squeaking sound. If this is the issue, you’re most likely to hear it right when the AC kicks on. The squealing usually only goes on for about fifteen seconds before it subsides. It’s also common for the AC to begin doing something called short-cycling, which is where the unit turns off and on more frequently than usual. A pressurized condenser can be very dangerous, so we recommend turning off the unit until it can be inspected by a professional.
4. Debris or Loose Pieces
The large, outdoor component of your air conditioner is called a compressor. Since it’s exposed to the elements, it’s possible for natural things like sticks, dead leaves, and grass to get lodged inside. Depending on where the debris is trapped, it can create a squeaking or banging sound during operation. If you suspect this is the issue, you can take a peak around the unit to see if there’s anything that obviously does not belong there.
5. High Humidity Levels
Your AC may be squeaking if it’s overworked and struggling to keep up with your home’s humidity levels. While your AC can reduce your indoor humidity level to a certain degree, that’s not its primary job and can only do so much. If the humidity in your home is very high, you may want to supplement your AC with a dehumidifier. Galbreath & Sons, Inc. provides whole-house dehumidifier installation and can help you select the perfect unit for your needs. A dehumidifying system can help ease the burden of your AC, extend its lifespan, and improve its overall performance.
6. Nothing to Worry About
Some units make a slight squeal while they’re running – especially after they’ve been sitting dormant all winter. If the sound clears up after the first couple of days, there’s probably nothing to worry about. However, a spring maintenance appointment will give us a chance to examine the unit and determine if anything’s amiss. We’ll also clean out the unit and lubricate its moving parts to get them working quietly again.
AC Experts in Richmond Hill
If your air conditioner is making a squeaking sound, it’s natural to feel confused or alarmed. However, the experts at Galbreath & Sons, Inc. will figure out what’s wrong and determine the right course of action to have the unit running quietly again. Our NATE-certified technicians are skilled and trained to handle a wide range of repairs for all makes and models of AC. In addition to AC repairs, we also provide installation and maintenance for air conditioners and furnaces.