3 Reasons The Outside Air Conditioner Compressor Is Making Noise

Posted on: 1 June 2021

Your outside air compressor isn't designed to run silently; it will make some noise when it is running. However, there are normal operating sounds, and there are abnormal operating sounds. There are three sounds that your outside air compressor can make that should warrant your immediate attention.

#1: Grinding Noise

A grinding noise is going to sound a little like metal-on-metal grinding. It is going to be loud, and it is going to be an uncomfortable sound. This sound is not going to go away; it is going to persist, and it is going to get louder over time.

A grinding sound is usually caused by a bearing in the motor getting worn-out. As the bearing grinds, it can create a lot of heat. This can cause the motor to overheat and eventually shut off. If this is happening, that means you need to replace the motor that runs your condenser.

#2: Humming

If your air compressor is making a humming sound that is above the normal operating sound, you have a reason to be concerned. If you specifically notice the humming sound when you are switching the thermostat to cool, you have a bad capacitor that needs to be replaced more than likely.

Alternatively, the air compressor could also have a low-voltage transformer. Again, this is something that you will need to have checked by an air conditioner professional.

#3: Buzzing

The third sound you need to be concerned about is a buzzing sound. If the buzzing sounds like the unit are turning on but cannot, that is another sign that your capacitor is defective and isn't working properly. A bad capacitor is something that is serious. It means that your unit is overheating. When the unit is overheating, eventually, your motor is not going to turn on. If the motor overheats, your entire unit may shut down when the thermal overload switch is activated and turns the unit off. 

If your outside air compressor is making more noise than it should, you will want to call an AC repair team to come out and look at your unit. Strange sounds are usually an indication of a much larger problem, such as a compressor that is going bad or a bearing that is loose. This is something that you should allow a professional to investigate for you. If you walk by your outside AC compressor unit and notice it is making sounds that it shouldn't, call in a professional immediately.