Air Conditioning Myth: “Noisy Is Normal”

An air conditioning system cannot run in complete silence. Regardless of how far technology develops to lower the sounds coming from the motors, compressor, and fans, there is no way that a AC can be designed and manufactured to work without creating any noise volume.

However, the idea that it’s normal for an air conditioning system to work noisily each time it comes on is also false. There’s a threshold of sound that an AC shouldn’t cross. If your home’s cooling system begins to become what you would call “noisy,” then it’s time to either have it repaired… or have it replaced.

How noisy is “noisy” for an air conditioning system?

It’s difficult to answer this because unless you have special sound measuring equipment that can tell you the decibel levels from the AC, “noisy” is difficult to quantify. But you should have an idea what you air conditioner sound likes when it’s running if you’ve already had it for at least one season. There should be a steady hum whenever the compressor turns on, and a lower hum from the blower motor when the compressor shuts off. If the volume of these noises increases to the point that you notice it, something may be wrong. And new sounds you haven’t heard before—hissing, grinding, clanging—are also cause for concern and a call to HVAC pros.

Repair or replace?

If your AC is more than 15 years old, a general increase in noise volume when it works usually indicates the system has worn past the point where repairs are worthwhile. For a younger air conditioner, the problem may stem from a specific malfunction that a technician can repair. For example, clicking sounds can mean one or more capacitors need replacement, while a clanging noise can indicate bent or otherwise damaged fan blades.

If you need to have HVAC technicians inspect your air conditioning system, call Comfort Central, Inc. We service Asheville, NC and throughout Western North Carolina.

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