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Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner is Squeaking: How to Fix

Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner is Squeaking: How to Fix

It’s common to hear your HVAC system turn on and off. You might even hear some strange sounds come out of it, but one thing you shouldn’t hear is a squeaking noise. If your air conditioner is squeaking, something is going wrong with the unit. 

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You need to act fast whenever something goes wrong with your air conditioner. Waiting to have it fixed can cause further damage. If you notice a squeaking, shut it off and call a technician to check out your HVAC system. 

Common Reasons Your Air Conditioner Is Squeaking 

There are some common reasons why your air conditioner is squeaking. There could be a reason not listed here that is causing the squeak. This is why it’s imperative to have a professional check out your air conditioner and repair it. 

1. A Faulty Compressor

The compressor delivers the refrigerant that cools the air it returns to your home. It is a vital component and the leading cause of squeaking noises from air conditioners. Two main components, the compressor clutch and compressor pulley, are often to blame. 

You may notice the squeaking when the air conditioner first turns on, or it may last through the entire cycle. The pulley is often to blame if it continues because this pulley is always moving when the air conditioner is working. 

If it is the clutch, you’ll notice that the air is not getting cold. This is a dead giveaway that the compressor is having problems. A compressor is expensive, and you shouldn’t attempt to repair it on your own.

2. A Damaged Condenser Fan

The condenser fan is often to blame when the AC makes noise. There are several components so that the sound might be coming from anywhere in your air conditioner unit. It could be the fan belt, the fan motor, or the fan itself that is causing the trouble. 

Modern ACs don’t use fan belts but have direct drive motors. If you have a new unit, it’s not the belt. If you have an older unit, the belt can become worn out over time. If it is the motor, a bearing or lubrication issue may be to blame. 

When the fan makes noise, it’s often because it is damaged. Environmental factors can be behind the noise, or there could be a piece of wood or debris lodged in the unit. If the fan gets dirty, it can also cause it to start squeaking.  

3. Worn Isolation Feet 

Worn isolation feet is a problem that occurs in large units. Isolation feet are rubber pads that help stabilize a unit, reduce noise, and reduce vibrations. If they are worn down from age and use, it can cause the air conditioner to make humming, buzzing, or squeaking noises. You could be experiencing all three noises. 

If one pad has worn down, it is common for all the other pads to wear down faster. The vibrations can also cause issues with the internal components like the compressor. Replacing the pads may only be the first step in repairing the AC unit. 

If you have a smaller home, the chances that this is happening to you are small. Smaller units don’t require isolation feet, so the problem is most often more significant. 

4. High Humidity Levels

Humidity can cause the air conditioner unit to have to work twice as hard to cool the hot, damp air inside your home. If you’re experiencing significant issues with the humidity, you may need a dehumidifier to help the air conditioner. 

If you act fast and get the humidity taken care of, it might be the only issue your air conditioner is having. However, if the problem has persisted for a while, the difficulty of cooling air and dehumidifying it can cause components inside the unit to break down and require AC repair.

If you live in an area with high humidity, like Jacksonville, FL, you may experience this problem more often. A whole-house dehumidifier could be necessary instead of a room-specific smaller unit. You should speak to your HVAC technician about what is going on and get their advice. 

5. Refrigerant Leaks

While it might not be the most common cause of squeaking noises, refrigerant leaks can occasionally result in these unexpected sounds. Most refrigerant leaks are small pinholes that cause the refrigerant to compress and escape with a hissing, whistling, or even squeaking noise. Often, these sounds go unnoticed or are mistaken for other issues. 

It’s crucial to address refrigerant leaks promptly, as they not only affect your AC’s performance but can also have adverse environmental effects. If you suspect a refrigerant leak due to unusual noises or a drop in cooling efficiency, it’s wise to consult a professional technician to pinpoint the problem and prevent further complications. 

6. A Failing Capacitor

A squeaking sound isn’t associated with failing capacitors often. You will most often hear people talk about buzzing or clicking sounds associated with capacitors. Capacitors are used to provide large amounts of electricity to the air conditioner, more than what a wall socket can provide. 

There are various things that can happen to a capacity, such as cold weather or electrical problems. A professional HVAC technician can test the capacitor to see if it is still working right and allowing enough electricity to reach the motor. 

Failing AC Capacitor Waychoff's How To Fix A Squeaking Air Conditioner

It all depends on what is causing the squeaking sound. You could apply a motor lubricant or a spray lubricant to the engine shaft or belt, and that might reduce or eliminate the noise for a while. The important thing to remember is that it won’t fix the problem. The squeaking will be back. 

You should also keep in mind that a slight squeal or squeak can be normal. This noise can also develop if the unit is overworked, such as during the hottest parts of the summer. 

Contact the Professional AC Technicians at Waychoff’s

If you live in or around Jacksonville, FL, and you’re having trouble with your air conditioner squeaking, contact Waychoff’s Air Conditioning. Our licensed and professional technicians have years of experience working in the area, and they can get your air conditioner back up and running in no time. In certain scenarios, opting for an air conditioner replacement might be the more practical choice. Rest assured, our installation team possesses the expertise and capabilities to efficiently manage this process too.

Don’t risk enduring a hot, humid summer without air. The humidity can damage your home, and the heat can cause you harm. Let us take care of the repairs so that you can get back to enjoying your summer.