Buzzing Noises in AC Units

Buzzing Noises in AC units

Why is My AC Unit Making a Loud Buzzing Noise?

Oh no! Is your AC unit making a loud buzzing noise? Today on the blog, our HVAC experts share all of the common reasons for these type of noises, and what to do when this occurs.

Why is My AC unit making a Loud Buzzing Noise?

Nobody wants buzzing noises in AC units. The smoother and quieter the appliance is, the better for everyone. Unfortunately, your AC unit is not immune to mechanical issues. It will, every now and then, develop problems that require fixing. These issues are usually indicated through things like buzzing noises. 

Loud buzzing noises in AC Units are usually an indication of a problem that will require money to fix. Not to mention that problems cause inconveniences. What then, could be the problem when your usually quiet AC unit starts to buzz?

Our residential AC company shares what could be wrong with your AC unit if you hear a buzzing noise. 

Buzzing Noises in AC units

Faulty Compressor 

The compressor pressurizes and cools the refrigerant within the AC system. It is located in the outdoor unit and is integral in the circulation of the refrigerant throughout the entire system. A buzzing sound could mean that the compressor is not working properly or that there is a power problem on the outdoor unit. 

Frozen AC unit

Your AC unit will freeze if the refrigerant leaks from the system. McQuillan Bros, Twin Cities HVAC Contractors, urges customers to remember that the refrigerant used in the system is extremely cold. Leaks can happen due to a number of reasons. When they do, you are likely to hear a buzzing sound. 

Loose Parts 

Loose parts are normally accompanied by a buzzing and rattling sound. Your AC unit is likely to encounter a loose-parts problem as it ages. After all, it is not uncommon for your AC unit to vibrate when working. Loose parts such as bearings can lead to additional or premature wear throughout the system, which can, in turn, lead to buzzing sounds.

Missing or Damaged Isolation Feet 

Isolation feet are used to mount the compressor. The isolation feet are small and usually made of rubber to keep the compressor off the floor and keep it properly balanced. Continued use of the AC unit can lead to cracking or disintegration of the isolation feet, which interferes with the balance of the compressor. When this happens, you are likely to hear a buzzing or loud vibration whenever the AC unit is working. Luckily these can easily be fixed during your next Placerville HVAC service.

Electrical issues 

An electrical issue can also cause a buzzing noise within the AC unit. Sadly, there are many electrical issues that may result in this kind of noise. For example, the unit might undergo ‘electrical arcing.’ This happens when an electrical current misses its intended path and takes on other parts of the circuit. 

Other electrical issues that could lead to a buzzing noise within the AC include:

  • Loose wiring
  • A bad capacitor 
  • A faulty condenser fan motor 
  • Contractor relay switch on the outdoor unit

Dealing with a Buzzing Noise 

No one wants a buzzing AC unit in their home. Your AC system is complex, and it requires a combination of parts working together to provide you with the right conditions for your comfort. Therefore, the best way to deal with a buzzing noise is to switch off the unit and call a trained professional. 

Gilmore Heating, Air, and Plumbing have been serving the Sacramento, Placerville, and surrounding areas since 1973. If your AC system is making a loud buzzing noise, contact Gilmore Heating and Air. Our HVAC techs will thoroughly assess your AC unit and recommend the right course of action. Whether that be residential AC repair or AC maintenance help, you need to keep your AC unit in its best shape. 

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Freon (R-22) Ban and How It Affects Your Air Conditioner

Until a few years ago, many air conditioners sold in the United States used the refrigerant chlorodifluoromethane, usually referred to “R-22.” R-22 is one of a number of gases marketed under the brand name Freon, and has been commonly used as a coolant in air conditioners, heat pumps, and other appliances.

R-22 is an extremely effective coolant, which made it popular among HVAC manufacturers for many years. However, it was discovered that its causes damage to the ozone layer, and that it is also a powerful greenhouse gas. This is why, in 1987, the United States agreed to an international accord that would call for the reduction of HCFC (hydrochlorofluorocarbon) production, beginning in 2004. R-22 is one of the products affected by this agreement.

 

Obtaining R-22 for air conditioner servicing is extremely costly, and will soon become impossible.

Enforced reduction of the use of R-22 began in 2004, and in 2010 its use was banned in new HVAC systems. However, R-22 has continued to be produced since then in order to service existing air conditioners. Soon, this will no longer be the case.

In 2015, the next step in the R-22 phaseout plan was triggered, further reducing the permitted production and import of R-22. As a consequence, prices have quadrupled. This will only get worse, as the EPA’s final phasedown schedule for R-22 indicates that production and import of the coolant will be completely banned as of 2020.

For homeowners whose air conditioners and heat pumps use R-22, this raises the question, “What are my choices?” These options can be broken down as follows:

Hold off on HVAC replacement or upgrade for a few years.

You can simply wait for a few years. However, if your cooling system requires replacement of its R-22 supply in the meantime, it may cost you dearly. We currently charge more than $600 to fully recharge an air conditioner with R-22 (plus the cost of removing contaminants from the system), and full expect this cost to rise in the future. In a few years, it may cost thousands of dollars.

Upgrade your system to use a modern coolant.

The EPA has approved several new coolants, the most popular of which is R-410A, commonly marked under the brand name Puron. However, you can’t just pour R-410A into a cooling system that uses R-22. Some of the system’s parts will have to be replaced. In addition, while your system can be adapted to work with R-410A, you likely won’t see the same level of performance as before, resulting in higher energy bills.

Replace your HVAC system with a new EPA-friendly system.

The most advisable option is to simply replace your existing air conditioner or heat pump with a new system that is designed to use R-410A, or other permitted coolants. While this is the most costly option in the short term, the simple fact is that the other two options may well cost you more in the long run, and then you’ll have to replace your system anyways!

This is why Gilmore strongly advises that you replace your air conditioner or heat pump now. Replacing your system eliminates the risk of having to pay a fortune for R-22 replacement in a few years, or paying higher energy bills for the next several years due to reduced performance.

It really is the best time to replace your HVAC system, and as a bonus, you will immediately begin to enjoy savings on your energy bill! If you’d like to learn more about how replacing your air conditioner or heat pump can save you money, call the experts at Gilmore Heating & Air!

Save $250 Off of a New Air Conditioner!

Avoid future price hikes for replacing the R-22 in your old air conditioner by upgrading your system today! Click on the image below for an easy-to-print coupon entitling you to $250 off of a new A/C system from Gilmore Heating & Air, or click on this link for a PDF with a summary of the above information, and a copy of our coupon. But don’t wait too long, this offer expires at the end of 2016!