Why is My Air Conditioner Rattling?

When your air conditioner starts making a rattling sound, it can be concerning. Before panicking and thinking that you’re going to need to shell out hundreds of dollars to replace your cooling system, rest assured that there are numerous possible causes for a rattling AC sound, and many of them are nothing to worry about or only require simple repairs by a professional.

Regardless of what you believe may be causing your strange AC sound, do not attempt to dismantle the unit and diagnose the problem on your own. This can be dangerous if you don’t know what you’re doing. Even if you have the power to your cooling system shut off, internal parts may still be carrying a charge which could shock you. Therefore, it’s best to leave all diagnostic, inspection, and repair work to the experts.

Understanding your AC’s composition

Your air conditioning system is made of three main parts, which includes the ductwork that allows cool air to be transported to various rooms of your home, the outdoor condenser, and the indoor air handler (often attached to your furnace). There are numerous problems which can occur in any of these three areas that could lead to rattling sounds when the AC is in operation.

Strange ductwork sounds

It isn’t uncommon to hear your ducts making sounds when the air conditioner is cycling on and off. Ductwork expands and contracts when air is passing through, and when it stops. Many times, the “rattling” sound can be heard at the vent registers in each room of your home, or above you in a drop ceiling of a basement. If you are worried that the rattling sound has become excessively loud or is associated with other air conditioning problems, such as certain rooms feeling warmer than normal, contact a cooling professional.

Outdoor condenser problems

If your outdoor condenser is making a rattling sound when your air conditioner is running, debris may have fallen into the unit. This is common, especially if your area has recently experienced severe weather with wind gusts and heavy rainfall. Sticks, leaves, rocks, and other outdoor debris may have fallen in and these items could be moving around and “rattling” when your cooling system is running.

Additionally, strange noises in the condenser could be caused from the compressor’s vibration. The compressor is inside of the outdoor unit, and as time passes, it isn’t uncommon for the hardware holding it in place to become loose and start to rattle during operation.

If you believe the rattling sound you hear from your AC is originating in the condenser, contact a cooling professional to diagnose and fix the problem.

Indoor air handler

Inside of your AC’s air handler is the blower fan. It isn’t unusual for the fan to make some sound when your cooling system is operating. If the noise is excessively loud, or if it’s associated with problems, such as the unit cycling on/off randomly, it’s best to contact a cooling professional immediately to take care of the problem before a breakdown occurs and your family is left in a hot, uncomfortable home.

Affordable AC maintenance and repair

At Oncourse Home Solutions, we offer both Cooling Maintenance and Cooling Repair Plans to help you keep your air conditioner running efficiently all season long. To see if these plans are available where you live, visit us online.