Is Your Air Conditioner Making A Screeching Noise? Here's What To Do

ac making squeaking noise

Air conditioners are necessary household assets. Especially if you live in a hot and humid climate, an air conditioner will help you maintain a comfortable indoor environment by regulating the temperature.

AC systems are designed to operate quietly, with only a click when turned on and a gentle whooshing of air through your vents. However, just like any other appliance, air conditioners can develop a variety of problems. Take note of any unusually loud noises coming from your air conditioner because such strange noises could indicate a severe problem with your outside ac unit squealing.

One of the most common HVAC problems we often hear is ‘My air conditioner is making a high-pitched squeal. 'What should I do?' Well, here are some things that are probably causing your AC to make screeching noises.

Four Reasons Why Your Air Conditioner is Making a Squeaking Noise

  1. Something is Wrong with the Fan Belt

The air conditioner fan belt is probably one of the simplest parts of the air conditioner’s internal systems, but it is one of the most important when it is used. The belt connects the air conditioner's motor to the blower, allowing it to blow cool air when the air conditioner is turned on.

However, as the humidity level rises in the surroundings (air conditioners are more heavily used in places with hot, damp weather), the belt contracts and expands. Over time, the belt can stretch and fray and become worn out and fragile. When this happens, you can hear the outdoor unit squealing, and the noise can also come through the vents, and you will hear it inside your home.

However, the good thing is that most newer air conditioner units do not use the belt system, so if you have a newer ac system, you may not experience this problem. If you are using an older ac system, then you will probably have this problem at some point.

If this happens to you, the next step you should take will be to replace the fan belt. You can do this yourself, but we recommend taking it to an HVAC technician.

  1. The Bearings of the Condenser Fan are Damaged 

Newer air conditioning units use something called the direct drive motor system. Instead of a fan belt that connects the air conditioner's motor to the blower, the direct drive system uses a condenser fan to draw air across the condenser coils located inside your compressor. Bearings hold down this fan.

So when people with newer air conditioning units come to us to say '‘My air conditioner is making a high-pitched squeal', it is usually the fan motor bearings that are having the problem and making the squeaking noise.

When this happens, you must address the problem as quickly as possible. Call an HVAC specialist to help you fix it so you can enjoy your ac system fully.

Again (we cannot stress this enough), fixing the bearings in your outdoor unit is essential. Once left unattended, damaged or worn bearings can damage the air conditioning motor, which is a much more expensive and difficult problem to address.

  1. It may be the Compressor

The compressor in your air conditioning unit may be the cause of the complaints when people say, 'My air conditioner is making a high-pitched squeal.' 

The compressor is the most crucial part of the air conditioning unit. It is the heart of the cooling system. The compressor, just like the heart, moves blood around the body, moves air around the air conditioning system, and keeps them working smoothly.

Once your unit has taken in the hot air, the compressor compresses the refrigerant to cool down that hot air and dispense it around you. When the compressor begins to have issues, there is a buildup of pressure from the refrigerant, and so the ac makes a squeaking noise when it's turned on.

If you hear squealing for the first 10-30 seconds, switch off the ac system immediately to prevent additional damage. Also, a refrigerant leak is a hazardous gas that can harm your family. If enough pressure builds in the refrigerant, it can result in an explosion.

Call an ac technician immediately to fix this problem, and make sure you do not rerun the ac system until the repairs have been made.

  1. How do You Prevent this In the First Place?

As every reader probably knows, it is easier to prevent an issue from ever happening than running around trying to fix something that has already been damaged.

When you maintain your ac system, you spend less money fixing it than someone who only waits for damage to occur before trying to fix it. So, Here's what I do when My air conditioner is making a high-pitched squeal. We are sure these tips can help you too.

  • Do not overwork the air conditioner. If you are not going to be in the room, switch the appliance off.

  • Lubricate regularly. Use a motor lubricant or spray lubricant on the motor shaft to ensure that the parts that grind together are not damaged.

  • Service from time to time. This requires that you call a technician over and pay him, but it is still far cheaper than repairing it from scratch when huge damage occurs.

Finally, it is important to note that sometimes your ac making high-pitched squealing noise doesn't indicate a problem. Sometimes, it may just be that your air conditioning unit is powering up again after a long time of being inactive. Imagine opening a door in an old house; that is a similar thing happening here.

Our advice is that even though you are not using the air conditioner, lubricate the internals or service it from time to time.

Hire an AC Repair Expert Today

Is your AC system making a hissing noise or buzzing noise? You may have a refrigerant leak that can be detrimental to your entire unit and should be fixed immediately.

Hurliman Heating is a premier emergency heating and cooling service provider in Spokane, WA. If you need a quick fix on your noisy air conditioner or if your system has stopped working altogether, call us immediately!

Our technicians are trained professionals with years of experience fixing residential and commercial systems. They are also fully insured and bonded, so you know they’re going to do everything possible to make sure your system works properly again.