Our friend Hank in Sacramento, CA has a hankerin’ (sorry) to have a quieter backyard—but his AC unit is acting up. Hank writes:
“I’ve gotten a bit desperate with a problem I’ve been having in my backyard. I like to spend my summer evenings out on my back patio, lounging in our lawn furniture. It’s normally a pretty relaxing spot to be. My place is in the suburbs outside of downtown Sacramento, so other than some distant traffic, I usually only hear the chirp of the crickets.
My wife and kids like to relax inside under the air conditioner, but I like to get out in the fresh air. Recently, though, I suspect there may be a problem with my air conditioner; the chirp of crickets has been replaced with the sound of my AC unit running. It just makes so much danged noise. I want to know, why is my AC so loud outside? And what—if anything—can I do to fix it? Thank you kindly, Hank.”
Hank, I just have to tell you that I too am a backyard patio kind of guy, especially in the summer. Your predicament is close to my heart. I even had this same thing happen to me not too long ago, and I was personally left wondering why my outdoor ac unit was being so loud. Even as a residential cooling pro, I had to do some investigating.
The fact of the matter is, there could be a few different things causing this issue. And that’s what I’d like to talk about here with you today—as well as how you can get this unnecessary summer annoyance fixed.
Why Is My AC So Loud Outside?
As I mentioned above, there are a few different potential answers to the question “Why is my AC so loud outside?” The most common noise for an exterior AC to make is a rattling noise, and it often makes this sound because some kind of debris has fallen into the vents. This debris could be leaves, sticks, or anything else that’s tumbled off one of the many, many old, tall trees that line our streets here in Sacramento. This is part of the reason you may want to cover your AC in the winter.
Compressor problems are much more likely with older AC units.
This rattling sound might also be coming from the compressor, though, which is what makes it sort of hard to pinpoint the cause of the increased noise right away. Compressor problems are much more likely with older AC units. You see, as the motor inside of your AC’s compressor starts to get older, it also often gets louder and makes noise as it functions, letting you know that there may be something wrong with it. We’ve gone into detail in the past about ways to tell if your compressor is bad, but this is a problem you will want to call a pro in to fix.
How to Handle a Loud Outside Air Conditioner
The reality for Jim, and anyone else in his situation, is that by the time your AC gets so loud outside that it’s obvious something is wrong, there’s not all that much you can do about it yourself. Just like you’d take your car into a mechanic if your engine was making a really weird noise, you want to call a pro out to look at your AC unit when it’s in the same situation.
…by the time your AC gets so loud outside that it’s obvious something is wrong, there’s not all that much you can do about it yourself.
Once you start hearing noticeably louder noises coming from your outdoor air conditioning unit, I highly recommend calling in an HVAC pro to check it out. There are, however, many preventative actions that you can and should take to stop problems like this from arising with your AC unit in the first place.
Avoid the Loud AC Problem Before It Starts
If you aren’t having the same problems yet as Hank, or are and have to replace your outdoor unit, here is some advice for how to prevent this from happening (again) in the future. It really is important to make sure that you properly prepare your air conditioner before the hot Sacramento summer arrives. Get an annual HVAC checkup that can help spot most potential problems before they get so bad that they require a replacement of your unit. I know it can be hard to remember to schedule it, but it really is worth your while.
…make sure that you are regularly changing your AC filter. This is key to maintaining a happy, healthy, quiet air conditioner all summer long.
You also want to make sure that you are regularly changing your AC filter. This is key to maintaining a happy, healthy, quiet air conditioner all summer long. You can either change your filter yourself, or you can have a professional HVAC tech come out and take care of it for you on a regular basis so that you don’t have to worry about fitting it into your own busy schedule. Either way, it has to get done.
Here at Bell Brothers, we take special pride in the quality of the annual maintenance that we provide for homeowners. We do our best to spot any and all potential problems before they turn into summer-ruining dilemmas. We also offer regular filter changes for busy homeowners without the time to remember to take care of it themselves.
I know how important a nice, relaxing summer evening can be when you’ve spent a long day at work, so I’m glad Jim reached out to us about his problem. Your air conditioner is going to make a little bit of noise, sure, but if it starts to disrupt your rest and relaxation, well then, something’s up—and it’s time to call the pros.
At Bell Brothers, our trained HVAC professionals would love to help you with all your summer HVAC needs. Or, if you’re wondering how to finance a new AC unit this summer, we can help you find unique financing options designed to help California homeowners make energy-efficient upgrades. Contact us today to schedule a free in-home consultation.
Image courtesy JacobLund