If your air conditioner condenser suddenly makes loud screeching or screaming noises, you should call an AC repair professional and schedule a visit. The company may offer advice on whether you should turn your AC off and wait for help to arrive. Loud noises coming from the condenser sound scary, and they can also be embarrassing if your neighbors live nearby and can hear the noise. Here are four possible causes for loud screeching noises coming from your air conditioner.
1. The Motor Bearings Are Bad
Bearings in the fan motor can wear out with age. When bearings go bad, they often make a loud screeching sound. The AC repair technician has to assess the situation and determine if the bearings and motor both have to be replaced, or if just replacing the bearings will fix the problem.
2. The Fan Blades Scrape The Metal Cage
The fan blades have to be in the right alignment for the fan and motor to operate properly. If the fan works loose due to vibrations or other reasons, the metal blades could scrape against the metal side of the condenser and create a screeching noise that sounds like metal scraping metal.
The repair technician might align and tighten the fan blades, but if one of the blades is bent, it might be necessary to put in a new set of blades. This ensures the fan is balanced properly and won't put stress on the motor.
3. The Compressor Is Under Excess Pressure
The compressor can make a variety of noises when it malfunctions. If you hear a screaming noise, the problem might be excess pressure that's bleeding off. If you think the noise is coming from the compressor, turn your air conditioner off until a repair technician has a chance to examine the parts.
4. The Fan Belt Is Worn
If you have a newer air conditioner, you can probably rule out a bad belt since newer air conditioners don't use belt-drive motors and fans. If your AC is old, a worn belt could be the issue. If the belt is slipping, it can make a loud screeching noise. The repair professional can fix this problem by replacing the belt.
A worn belt is usually detected during an annual maintenance visit from your AC professional. This is one reason it's important to have your AC serviced in the spring. A worn belt could be replaced so it doesn't have the chance to start screeching or break and cause your air conditioner to malfunction.
Whether your AC has had its annual service call or not, it's a good idea to call a repair technician for help when you hear unusual noises coming from the condenser or air handler. Screaming noises are scary, but less frightening noises, such as humming, hissing, or clicking can also be signs of trouble and mean your AC needs to be repaired.