Noise is everywhere in today’s world. It’s nearly inescapable. We leave the incessant chatter of our co-workers in our open-plan office, hoping to escape to a more relaxing atmosphere at a nearby coffee shop, only to be bombarded with even more noise – from patrons and employees alike.
As we make our way home, we find that there’s construction on the streets and loud music blaring from car speakers. Upon arriving home we often hear barking dogs, crying children, cell phones beeping, appliances whining, humming air conditioners, TVs blaring at full volume (got to love those kids), and more.
Chronic noise is hard on our peace of mind and can be detrimental to our health. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, noise induced health effects include tinnitus, hearing loss (temporary or permanent), stress, muscle tension, increased blood pressure, cognitive impairment, sleep disturbances, and heart disease; among others.
While it has been widely accepted that noise, especially chronic noise, has the potential to act as a non-specific stressor that doesn’t mean all noises are normal or that there’s nothing you can do to alleviate some of the noise ailing you. Take for example your air conditioning unit.
Sure it’s going to make some noise, but if it’s suddenly reached new decibels, you may have a serious problem on your hands and need ac maintenance. If you hear a noise that concerns you, then you will want to immediately power off the unit (this will help you avoid further damaging the AC), and contact a professional HVAC technician for ac maintenance.
A few of the more common noises an AC may emit include:
- Rattling: Rattling noises could result from something becoming lodged within the unit itself. Typical debris includes leaves, sticks, lawn shavings, rocks and more. Rattling could also be the result of loose bolts, screws, or fasteners. These situations are both easy to remedy. However, rattling could also signify a problem with your compressor, which may require replacement.
- Grinding: Grinding noises often signify a problem with one of the fan motors – most commonly a worn bearing or some other component. Professional repair is required.
- Popping: You may sometimes hear popping noises in your ductwork; especially as the air turns on and off. That’s because this problem actually is caused by faulty or aged ductwork rather than the AC. Your ductwork, just like your air conditioner, requires routine maintenance to ensure that the entire system continues to work effectively.
- Hissing: A hissing or whistling noise could also signify a problem with your ductwork. However, if the noise is coming directly from your air conditioning unit, it is often indicative of a refrigerant leak. Professional repair and recharging will be required.
While most chronic noise is inescapable, dealing with a loud air conditioner is one noise you can escape, just by following a few preventative techniques. First, you should always make sure your HVAC filter is regularly changed, preferably with a high-quality HEPA filter.
It’s important to note that filters can become clogged much soon than manufacturer recommendations depending on your family home’s individual lifestyle. If there’s excessive dust, pet hair, or cigarette smoke in the home then it’s often recommended that the filter be changed once every month with ac maintenance.
Another preventative task to adopt is to have your air conditioning system routinely inspected by a professional HVAC technician. Annual safety checks and preventative ac maintenance are two great ways to avoid costly repairs or worse yet – replacements