HVAC Troubleshooting: Why is My AC Rattling?

When you hear your AC rattling, it is a good indicator that something has gone awry with your HVAC system. Ignoring the issue will create expensive repairs, so make sure you schedule a maintenance, tune up, or repair appointment with a licensed HVAC contractor. There are several situations that could cause a rattling noise – it could be an easy fix such as tightening screws, or it can be an indicator of malfunctioning parts which can become very expensive if gone unrepaired.

Debris

When the filter has not been changed for a while and becomes clogged, dirt, sticks, leaves, gravel and other types of debris can enter the AC cabinet and get knocked around. A dirty AC filter can cause serious damage to the AC’s parts/components along with a variety of other issues, and should be fixed immediately to prevent any more debris from entering.

Panels

Poor installation or aged AC parts can cause screws to become loose, which cause the panels on the cabinet to unfasten. This is common with old HVAC systems, which should be maintained at least twice a year.

Fan

Rattling caused by the fan within the AC unit could be from the blades themselves can becoming loose, especially in older AC models. Luckily, fan blades are easily replaceable. If the fan is misaligned due to debris or age, it will progressively get worse and eventually cause the fan to stop functioning. Dirty blades can also cause noise, so it is important to keep the blades clean and make sure your AC filter is changed regularly.

Motor

The compressor is the ‘heart’ of HVAC system, and when its parts become loose it can cause a total system breakdown. This is more common with older HVAC systems. When the noise increases from the compressor, it is usually a strong sign the compressor’s hardware needs replacing.

Installation

An unstable AC unit is a common source of rattling noise. Improper installation can cause parts to be more susceptible to damage. The noise could be from the damaged parts or by the AC unit or the platform not lining up with a window sill. Re-installation can easily fix the rattling if you notice loose/shifty parts.

Preventative maintenance can fend off unwanted repair bills and inconvenient HVAC malfunctioning during the months you use it the most. Call us today to learn more about our Precision Tune Up Program or to schedule an appointment for repair with one of our NATE-certified technicians!

HVAC Troubleshooting: What is AC Short Cycling?

Why Do Air Conditioners Cycle On and Off Randomly?

Problems with AC Cycles AC systems naturally turn on and off to maintain the temperature that is set on the thermostat. Cycling is necessary for AC function due to the refrigeration process. The refrigeration process is the most economical approach to cooling an area. The process begins by removing heat via refrigerant (freon), then cooling through a cycle of compression. The heat absorbed by the refrigerants is then expelled to the outside air.

How Does Air Conditioning Cool Your Home?

Air conditioning’s task is removing heat, cooling an area, and successfully expelling that heat to the outside air. The system must go through a cycle of changing the form of heat – from liquid to gas (cooling), and gas back into liquid (heating). Changing the form of heat is accomplished through compression, condensation, expansion and evaporation. Compression is the key component to the refrigeration process.  This is why the compressor is the heart of an AC system.

How To Determine Irregular AC Cycling

Cycling is a normal operational process for HVAC systems, however cause for concern happens when the frequency of the cycling increases.  Typically, three cooling cycles will occur within an hour on a moderate summer day. This means the compressor will run for 10 minutes, then shut down and start up again after 10 minutes. If your AC cycle is inconsistent and the set temperature of your home is fluctuating more than usual, then your system is most likely short cycling. Short cycling is the most common issue homeowners have with their AC unit, and it occurs when your AC is turning on and off irregularly.

AC short cycling could be caused by several factors including an obstructed compressor, faulty thermostat, leaking refrigerant, icy coils, dirty air filter, electrical/board issues, or a HVAC system that is too big for the building in which it is installed. AC short cycling can have a lot of negative effects on your HVAC system, and comfort. It creates stress on the HVAC system that can lead to mechanical breakdowns and costly repairs. AC Short cycling also causes temperature swings and increases your energy bills.

How To Prevent Irregular AC Cycling

Irregular AC Cycles Proper maintenance of your HVAC system is the best way to prevent AC short cycling from occurring. Scheduling a tune-up once a year will keep your system running efficiently and increase the lifespan of your HVAC system. In the meantime, make sure you are changing your air filter regularly and paying attention to the frequency of AC cycles and temperature fluctuation.

If you are experiencing short cycling with your AC, or to schedule your yearly tune-up, call the experts at Action AC 800-400-4152. We are dedicated to your comfort, and our Nate-Certified technicians guarantee efficient and convenient service.