There aren't too many parts in your air conditioner condenser, but when one of them starts to malfunction, you may hear unusual sounds. Odd sounds should usually be checked out by an AC repair technician in case a part is failing. Getting repairs done before your AC breaks down will save you from being without air conditioning on a hot day. Here are some sounds you might hear coming from the condenser and what they might mean.
A Bad Fan Makes A Scraping Or Clicking Noise
The condenser has a fan in it that might make noises when the fan blade scrapes against the side of the cage as it spins. The fan motor could also begin to make noises when it wears out. If you hear the noises when the fan starts up, you might check the blade to see if it's wobbly due to a loose screw. If so, all you have to do is tighten the screw and the noise should stop.
Sometimes, the blade can crack or break. If that happens, the blade has to be replaced with a new blade that is the right size and made to spin the same way as the old blade. If the problem is with the motor, such as bad bearings, the motor has to be replaced.
Bad Electrical Components May Hum
Power to the condenser parts comes from the control board so the thermostat can trigger the AC to start up. Power also comes from the disconnect box and enters the condenser at the contactor. Power has to flow through the contactor and capacitor before going to the fan motor and compressor.
If the contactor or capacitor is bad, you might hear a humming noise or ticking sound. You'll want an AC repair technician to check a humming noise as soon as possible because a bad electrical component might cause the compressor or fan motor to struggle to start and burn out.
An Old Compressor May Get Loud
When your air conditioner kicks on, you should hear the fan start up as well as the compressor. Noise from the compressor is normal, but as the compressor gets old, the noise can get quite loud. You may need to replace the compressor if it's so loud it keeps you or your neighbor awake at night.
However, a compressor is expensive, so if it isn't too loud, you may talk to your AC repair technician about whether you can let the replacement go until the noise is no longer tolerable or when you're ready to replace your AC.