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How to Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner in 4 Ways

Silent Home Hub How to Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner

Window air conditioners are prone to making loud noise. There’s a lot of reasons why.

But no worries! You don’t need to replace it (just yet). There are ways to dampen the noise.

Below, we’ll explain the steps on how to quiet a noisy window air conditioner unit for a peaceful living space.

Let’s jump right into it.

Table of Contents

1. Inspect the Window Air Conditioning Unit

The first step is to do a full inspection of the whole window A/C unit and all its parts.

Here are the things in the unit you need to inspect in order:

Installation

Since anyone can install window air conditioners, anyone can mess up the installation too — especially if you DIY your way through it.

So here’s what you need to do.

  1. Make sure that the space for your window unit is leveled.
  2. To check if improper installation is the cause of the noise, try pushing different areas of your window A/C unit to see if that alleviates the noise issue.
  3. Check if the foam insulation on your window frame has not yet deteriorated or shifted slightly to another direction.

The window frame is also a common suspect of the air conditioner noise, especially if it’s loose or not leveled properly.

To resolve this problem, use a leveler tool such as a bubble leveler. This is to make sure the window air conditioners and their corresponding window frame will be perfectly aligned.

That way, you can reduce the chances of gaps that might be the cause of the noise and vibrations made by the noisy window air conditioner unit.

Air Conditioner Panel

The AC panel is the front part of window air conditioners that can be seen from the inside of the room.

The panel contains the controls for window air conditioning units.

Panels can cause noise when some of their screws are loose. This causes the panel to shake and hit the air conditioner due to the vibrations the window air conditioner makes.

Fan Blades

The fan blades of window air conditioners are also common suspects of the noise.

Noisy window air conditioner fans can be caused by:

  1. The fan blades themselves may be hitting another part of the inside of the unit.
  2. A foreign object such as loose insulation or small twigs somehow attached itself to the fan blade.

Both ways result in the loud, annoying noises that we want to remove or prevent.

Fan Motor

The fan motor powers the fan inside the window air conditioners. After years of use, the fan motor may need some greasing with oil.

There can also be gap discrepancies within the motor which causes some parts to misalign and cause noise.

Always check and clean your air filter. If this is left unmaintained, the fan motor will deteriorate quickly.

Coil Fins

You should check if the coil fins, the condenser coils, and cooling coils found at the back of the window air conditioner, have dust and gunk in them. This can cause noise inside your window air conditioners.

Can you fix this type of problem? Yes, you can.

Use a light brush when cleaning the coil fins. As much as possible, you wouldn’t want it to collide with other parts of the air conditioner.

Don’t forget to straighten any bent coil fins. Doing so will contribute to the noise reduction of your window air conditioners.

Blower

The blower wheel is prone to building up dust, dirt, and mold over time. This can damage air conditioners if left untouched.

If you hear that squeaking sound, you can be pretty sure that your window air conditioner has issues with the blower wheel.

Thoroughly clean it with a brush and you’re good to go!

If those didn’t work…

2. Readjust the Position of Clashing AC Parts

After inspecting your window air conditioner parts and identifying the parts that cause the sound, try to reposition any parts that still make noise.

Sometimes, this simply entails gently bending or straightening out some portion of the air conditioning unit that causes the noise.

Otherwise, this usually means adding stuff like wooden wedges in between your parts.

For example, if you see your condenser coil hitting some area inside, then a wedge would likely fix the problem.

If wedges don’t work, you can try some type of cushion-like your foam insulation inside your window air conditioner unit.

Here’s a video that shows how this method works:

3. Support the Window AC Unit

If you’re sure all loose screws in the air conditioner are tightened, you can solve your problem by putting in reinforcing material.

For example, foam weather stripping can soften the sounds caused by your AC banging on the sides of the windows.

4. Consider Buying New Window Air Conditioners

Lastly and unfortunately, an ANCIENT window AC unit may have serious noise problems.

These types of issues might be too expensive to fix that it’ll be cheaper to buy a new window air conditioning unit instead.

For example, if your compressor is the source of the noise, it’s time to buy new window units.

In extremely old units, compressors are usually the main culprit. Some, if not most issues, can only be solved expensively through professional help.

In these cases, buying a new AC unit will certainly be an easier and more cost-efficient solution for you rather than maintaining your AC unit.

Where Can You Buy a New AC Unit?

Buying a new AC unit can be overwhelming to some, especially since there are many options available out in the market.

Local Appliance Store

Your local appliance store is probably the easiest place to buy your unit.

You just have to look among the options in front of you, check their size and other specifications, then take home your window AC unit right then and there.

Issues

  • If you have a specific model or specification in mind (e.g., durable casing, brand, etc.), you might not have much luck with your local appliance stores.
  • Worst case scenario is that you won’t find your unit even after visiting every corner of your whole town or city.

Shop at a Website of a Manufacturer

On a manufacturer’s website, all of their models are available to you, something local appliance stores can’t offer.

Whether it’s AC units that perfectly fit your windows or a powerful compressor, chances are you will find it.

And in the off chance, if you can’t find the product you want, you can always go to another manufacturer, all in the comfort of your own home.

Issues

  • Aside from the fact that the units from the manufacturer have to be delivered to you, shortages in stock may delay the delivery even longer. So if you’re someone who needs a replacement ASAP, this option might not be for you.
  • Another disadvantage of this is that you have to research the product thoroughly.
  • If for some reason your unit is too big and is having cooling issues, or your compressor is exuding a lot of noises for a new unit, it might be difficult to return it and get a refund or replacement.

Try Social Media or Other Retailers Online

A lot of AC manufacturers have several retailers. This means that they have people who independently market for them, usually in the local setting.

You may see posters and signages in your neighborhood about a particular AC brand.

You may even find them on social media, where localized ads target you to get their product in your mind for consideration.

These are helpful, especially if you can’t decide on a specific type of machine alone. And of course, read the reviews!

You can’t miss out on information like this to give you a better glimpse of what you’re buying.

Amazon is also one of the best places to conveniently find products and see reviews from hundreds of people!

Issues

  • Sometimes, the product offerings may be slightly more expensive than something you would usually find at your local store.
  • If you are about saving as much money as possible, this might be a good reason to step back. However, you might stumble onto a sale or seasonal deal to save even more!

In the end, it might be worth spending a little more than your budget if you want the best value in drowning out that god-awful sound.

Just take note: Reviews and testimonies can help you decide whether the specific marketer is trustworthy.

Types of AC Sounds

To further help you determine what’s causing the noise in your AC, here are the sounds you typically might hear, which parts they come from, and the reason why it is making that sound.

Banging Noise

A banging noise typically indicates a broken or loose part.

It may probably be a connecting rod, piston pin, or crankshaft inside the air conditioning compressor that’s causing the noise.

A banging noise also typically means your AC needs a compressor replacement.

Clanking Noise

Clanking sounds are another sign of an unbalanced or loose component.

This sound most likely means that the indoor blower or outdoor fan and its blades are out of balance and hitting other components.

These kinds of issues will further worsen and reduce cooling efficiency and produce more noise if ignored.

Buzzing Noise

A buzzing noise from your AC could mean a variety of things:

  • Fan blades are unbalanced
  • Copper lines are vibrating against something, causing the noise
  • The condenser coil is dirty and needs to be brushed
  • AC is freezing up due to a refrigerant leak.
  • The blower is unbalanced or not functioning very well

If your AC is turned on but isn’t cooling your room, a refrigerant leak is the most likely reason.

A buzzing sound is usually a symptom of these kinds of issues, but it’s not always the case.

If you don’t hear a noise, it doesn’t mean that there’s a refrigerator leak. You should still check the inside regularly despite not hearing any noise.

Thunking Sound

It’s possible that the compressor makes a thunking noise every time you turn on your window AC.

If what you’re hearing isn’t sounds you usually hear, check if the rubber padding on the compressor is still intact.

It may have cracked and split, dried out, or vibrated loose. When this happens, the compressor produces a thunking sound or even a buzzing sound.

Humming Sound

A humming sound is usually an electric sound and may just be typical noise, but it might be a precursor to bigger issues.

It can be an indication that the unit needs cleaning due to dust or dirt on the housing.

Also, a hum, which is similar to a buzzing noise, can indicate electrical issues. This is even more so apparent if the compressor does not turn on.

This can also mean that there are loose wires that should be fixed electrically.

Pulsating Noise

A pulsating noise is not always an indicator of issues. Faint, pulsing noise is usually not out of the ordinary when the product is turned on.

However, a pulsating noise that even your neighbors can hear indicates some sort of concern that needs to be addressed.

It may be a signal the inside components have come loose and need replacement. The blades of the fan and any loose panel or part from all sides could cause a pulsing noise in your AC.

Whirring Noise

If your AC sounds like a helicopter, you could have many mechanical issues with the components.

A whirring noise in your AC is usually the outcome of the indoor blower having bad bearings.

A whirring noise may happen when the blades start to loosen, or the fan begins to break down.

Final Thoughts

Brown and white pillows on a bed

Hopefully, these tips on how to quiet a noisy window air conditioner help you achieve a fresh, cool, and peaceful space inside your home!

Who knows, you may very well be the new expert in giving out tips to your family, friends, and neighbors who are also looking for a precious peace of mind only a cool and quiet indoor space can achieve.

If you’re not up to DIY-ing your way to quiet your air conditioner, maybe it’s time to buy a new one? Check out these 10 Quietest Wall Air Conditioners in the market.


Changelog:

July 12, 2021 – removed 2 external links, removed 2 affiliate links, embedded 1 YouTube video

June 25, 2021 added changelog, added external links, fixed and updated article formatting and content, added internal links, optimized content

About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.