Have you noticed a squealing noise when running your air conditioning system? Whether single speed or variable speed, it’s normal for an air conditioning system to produce some noise. Air conditioning systems consist of many mechanical parts, which produce noise during operation. A squealing noise, however, is typically a sign of an underlying problem. Why is your air conditioning system squealing exactly, and how do you fix it?
The Fan Belt
The most common reason air conditioning systems squeal when running is a worn or misaligned belt. It’s not uncommon for condensers to feature a belt. In some air conditioning systems – particularly older models – a belt is used to connect the condenser fan to the motor. As the motor spins, the belt will turn the condenser fan so that air flows over the condenser coil.
Belts, of course, can become worn or misaligned. Even if it’s still intact, a worn or misaligned belt can cause a squealing noise. It will essentially be loose. This loose connection between the condenser fan and the motor can result in a high-pitched squealing noise.
How to Fix It
Assuming the squealing noise is caused by a worn or misaligned belt, you can fix it by replacing the belt. Consisting of a looped piece of solid elastic material, belts are inexpensive. You won’t have to replace your entire air conditioning system; you just need to replace the belt.
Replacing the belt, though, requires the services of a heating, ventilation and cooling (HVAC) professional. Belts are found inside of the compressor unit. Therefore, you can’t easily access them. By contacting an HVAC professional, you can get the worn or misaligned belt replaced so that your air conditioning system stops squealing.
It’s important to note that not all air conditioning systems use a belt to connect the condenser fan to the motor. Belts are typically used in older models. Newer models, conversely, use bearings to attach the condenser fan to the motor.
Like with belts, bearings can become worn to the point where they no longer offer a strong connection between the condenser fan and the motor. Worn bearings can have a similar effect by causing a squealing noise. Whether it’s a worn belt or worn bearings, though, an HVAC professional can restore your air conditioning system back to working order so that it no longer squeals when running.