Why Is My Air Conditioner Making a Rattling Noise? A Florida Tech Answers

May 01, 2019

If your AC unit is making a rattling noise, there could be a variety of causes, including:

  • Detached panels

  • Debris in the outdoor unit

  • Damaged motor

  • Fan blade

However, regardless of the cause, you should have a professional evaluate your AC and rectify the issue as soon as possible.

If your air conditioner is making rattling noises, it means that the parts are not working the way they should be. Leaving your AC with broken or damaged parts will likely lead to larger issues (and more repairs) in the future.

Let’s look at the reasons your AC could be making a rattling noise and the steps you can take to fix it.

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Rattling noise cause #1: Detached panels

If the panels housing the outdoor or indoor units aren’t screwed on as tightly as they should be, it can cause a rattling noise. This could be the result of screws that have become loose over time or screws that simply weren’t tightened enough the last time the panel was opened.

The fix: Ensure that all panels (on your outdoor and indoor units) are secure and tighten any loose screws.

If your AC is still making a rattling noise, contact a professional. There could be other loose parts that are causing this noise, and you don’t want to damage your AC unit further by attempting to rectify this on your own.

Rattling noise cause #2: Debris in the outdoor unit

Debris like leaves, sticks, and gravel can get stuck in your outdoor AC unit, causing a rattling noise as your AC runs.

The fix: Hire a professional to clean your outdoor AC unit, ASAP. Debris can seriously damage the internal components of your AC unit, so they should be removed as quickly as possible.

To prevent debris from clogging your outdoor AC unit in the future, you should clear a space around your AC unit.

Rattling noise cause #3: Damaged motor

Your AC has components that are powered by motors (such as the blower). If a motor is damaged or not working correctly, parts of the system can become loose, resulting in the rattling noise you’re hearing.

The fix: Hire a professional. If you do have a broken motor, it will cause more issues than just a rattling noise, and could severely decrease the efficiency and overall lifespan of your AC system.

Rattling noise cause #4: Fan blade

If the fan inside of the outdoor unit is misaligned, one of the blades could be hitting the casing, causing the rattling noise you’re hearing. Like we mentioned above with a broken motor, a misaligned fan could be due to debris in the outdoor unit or just due to poor installation.

The fix: Call a professional. If the misaligned fan is due to improper installation, the labor cost to repair/replace this part may be covered under the labor warranty of the company/contractor who originally installed your unit.

Either way, you will need to enlist a professional as replacing an AC fan is not something you should attempt doing on your own.

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