Most of the time we’ll take a spread-out approach toward air conditioners that are making noises. We talk a lot on this blog about the different types of noises and what they could mean, but we rarely ever into a single noise. That’s because, at the end of the day, it’s hard for us to diagnose your particular AC repair in Montgomery County without a proper visit by a professional. No matter what we say here in this blog post, you should always call for professional help when it’s required.
That being said, it’s time to talk about one of the most common AC noises we run across. This is the “grinding” noise, and one that can be both uncomfortable for homeowners to hear, and devastating to the functionality and efficiency of your system. If you’re wondering why an air conditioner might start making a grinding noise, then you’re in the right place. Keep reading as we uncover the truth.
What Is a Grinding Noise?
If a machine is grinding, it’s usually the sound that comes from two unlubricated parts mashing together. Some people don’t say grinding and instead they say a “metal on metal” sound, which is basically the same thing. Grinding is one of those noises that is more common in systems that are not maintained because lubrication and thorough cleaning of coils and the compressor will be the best way to avoid this kind of problem.
It’s really only when a component is worn down or has bumped up against another problem that grinding becomes apparent.
What Should You Do When Your AC Makes a Grinding Noise?
The first, the most important thing you should do when your AC starts making a grinding noise is to turn it off. The longer this noise goes on, the more likely you are to run into multiple problems. Think about it: grinding is usually caused by a broken component or two components rubbing up against each other, which means prolonged exposure to this problem can turn your system into rubble.
Components That Could Be the Culprit
Let’s get to the good stuff. If you’ve already called our team for help and you’ve shut your AC down, then we can start talking about the culprit. What component is making that grinding noise? Here are just a few examples:
- The condenser fan. This is the outdoor fan of your system. The bearings could have gone bad without proper lubrication, or the fan blade has broken and it’s starting to grind against the unit’s cabinet.
- The blower fan. This is your indoor fan. The bearings on the motor could have been ground down through lack of maintenance. Or, like with the condenser fan, the fan blades could be rubbing against the housing. While these blades are different and break down less commonly than condenser fan blades, it’s still a common occurance.
- The compressor. There are many small valves and components inside your compressor. When one of these valves fails, it can often sound like a grinding noise that is obnoxious and uncomfortable. This could even be the failure of the reversing valve if you’re a heat pump owner.