The central air conditioner for your home has two sections, an interior air handler and an exterior condensing unit. It's the condensing unit that you'll likely be near the most often as you use your yard or perform routine maintenance on the unit. If you suddenly notice the unit making a new noise, it might be time to call an air conditioner repair professional.
The type of sound you're hearing is important to note during your service call as it can provide a hint to the potential problem. Here are two of the most common sounds and the problems that cause them.
Stones Against Metal
If your unit suddenly sounds similar to small stones on the road hitting your car, there's likely debris inside the unit that's bouncing off the fan as it spins.
Turn off the power to your unit using the circuit breaker or the turn-off box next to the unit. Remove the upper cover of the unit using either the screws or the latches. Place the cover safely to the side and peek inside. Can you see any debris down in the unit?
If you see small to medium sized debris such as leaves and stones, you can remove them using the hose attachment of your vacuum cleaner. Use a hose to rinse any debris off the front condenser coils and exterior grate by pointing the hose through the coils from the inside of the unit so that the water flows outside towards you.
Put the lid back on the unit and restore power. Check to see if the sound continues. If it does, ask the repair person to come out immediately to assess the problem and turn the power back off to your unit.
Is your unit making a rhythmic rattling sound? Your fan might have come a bit loose from its assembly.
Turn off the power to the unit and remove the lid. Gently rock the fan back and forth to see if the base is firmly attached to the assembly underneath. If it isn't, use a wrench to tighten the nut that attaches the two pieces together.
Also check to see if any of the blades are slightly bent, which could also cause the rattle sound. You can gently bend the blade back into place if it's only slightly out of place. Otherwise, you need to leave the matter to a professional who might opt to replace the damaged fan.
To learn more about air conditioner repair, contact a company like Krewson-Sweeney Oil Inc.