Air Conditioner Sounds Like a Jet Engine: Causes and Fixes!

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Picture this: it’s a scorching summer day, and you retreat indoors to find solace in the cool comfort of your home. As you turn on your trusty air conditioner, however, you’re greeted not by the soothing hum of cool air, but by an unsettling roar reminiscent of a jet engine. Suddenly, your sanctuary feels more like an airport runway. What could be causing your air conditioner to emit such a deafening noise?

Air conditioners are supposed to be our allies in battling the relentless heat, but when they start sounding like jet engines, it can be a cause for concern. Fortunately, this isn’t an uncommon problem, and there are steps you can take to diagnose and rectify the issue.

When the air conditioner sounds like a jet engine, it’s an indicator that the AC’s compressor could be a problem. The compressor is the heart of any AC unit, and the slightest problem with the compressor can significantly affect its efficiency.

In this blog post, we’ll explore the reasons behind an air conditioner that sounds like a jet engine, demystify the different types of noises you might encounter, and provide some practical solutions to bring tranquility back to your cooling oasis.

Note: While the information in this article aims to be informative and helpful, it’s important to remember that diagnosing and fixing air conditioner issues can be complex. When in doubt or if you’re uncomfortable with performing maintenance tasks yourself, it’s always advisable to consult a professional HVAC technician.

Understanding How AC Works

Before we explore the reasons behind an air conditioner sounding like a jet engine, it’s crucial to understand the fundamental workings of an air conditioning system. A typical air conditioner consists of various components, including:

  • Refrigerant: AC systems use a refrigerant, a chemical compound with low boiling and freezing points, which is circulated to transfer heat.
  • Compressor: The compressor is a crucial component that pressurizes and circulates the refrigerant. It creates high-pressure, high-temperature gas.
  • Condenser: The hot, high-pressure refrigerant gas from the compressor flows into the condenser, usually located outside the building. The condenser coils dissipate the heat from the refrigerant to the surrounding environment, and the refrigerant condenses into a high-pressure liquid.
  • Expansion Valve: The high-pressure liquid refrigerant passes through an expansion valve, which regulates the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator.
  • Evaporator: The low-pressure liquid refrigerant enters the evaporator, usually located indoors. As it enters the evaporator coils, it undergoes a rapid expansion, converting into a low-pressure gas. This process absorbs heat from the surrounding air, thereby cooling it.
  • Blower and Air Ducts: The blower, a fan located inside the AC unit, blows air over the cold evaporator coils. The cooled air is then distributed through air ducts and vents into the desired space.
  • Dehumidification: As the warm air passes over the cold evaporator coils, moisture in the air condenses on the coils, effectively reducing the humidity in the room.
  • Return and Supply Air: The return air ducts pull warm air from the room back into the AC system, where it is cooled and dehumidified. The supply air ducts deliver the cooled and conditioned air back into the room.
  • Thermostat: The thermostat is a control device that senses the temperature in the room. It signals the AC system to turn on or off based on the set temperature, maintaining the desired level of comfort.

What Makes Air Conditioner Sound Like Jet Engine

Air Conditioner Sounds Like a Jet Engine

1. Dirty Evaporator Coils

Evaporator coils are an essential component of refrigeration and air conditioning systems. They are responsible for absorbing heat from the surrounding environment and cooling the air or fluid passing over them.

Evaporator coils facilitate the heat exchange process in a cooling system. They absorb heat from the air or fluid, causing the refrigerant inside the coils to evaporate. As the refrigerant evaporates, it undergoes a phase change from a liquid to a gas, absorbing heat in the process.

Besides making your AC unit sound like a jet engine, Dirty evaporator coils can have a negative impact on the efficiency and performance of an HVAC (heating, ventilation, and air conditioning) system. When the coils become dirty, they can restrict airflow, reduce heat transfer, and potentially lead to system malfunctions. It’s important to clean dirty evaporator coils to maintain the proper functioning of your HVAC system. 

2. Faulty AC compressor

An AC compressor, also known as an air conditioning compressor, is a crucial component of an air conditioning system. It plays a vital role in the cooling process by compressing refrigerant gas and pumping it through the system to remove heat from the indoor environment.

Here are a few steps you can take to address the issue:

Check the power. Ensure that the AC unit is receiving power. Check the circuit breaker and make sure it hasn’t tripped. If it has, reset it and see if the compressor starts working again.

Examine the compressor. Visually inspect the AC compressor for any signs of damage, such as leaks, loose connections, or worn-out components. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, it may be a good idea to contact a professional HVAC technician for further assessment and repairs.

3. Damaged Condenser Fan

A faulty condenser fan motor will produce a jet engine noise or buzzing noises as it operates. This is, in most cases, an indicator of an electrical fault or accumulation of debris.

Other but not so common causes of a jet engine sound from your air conditioner include a faulty fan belt, damaged blower fan motor, or loose components in your AC.

However, it’s important to note that loose components will also produce rattling sounds and immediately need to be looked into.

4. Overworked Air Conditioner

If neither of these two issues seem to be the culprit, then it’s possible that your air conditioner is simply overworked.

If you live in an area with high humidity levels, then your AC unit has to work harder to cool your home. This can cause it to make a lot of noise.

To fix this problem, you’ll need to have your AC unit serviced by a qualified technician. They will likely recommend that you install a humidifier in your home to help offset the amount of work that your AC unit has to do.

5. Faulty Fan Motor

The air conditioner fan motor is responsible for circulating air within the AC unit. The blades on the fan motor spin and push air through the evaporator coils and into the room.

The fan motor is powered by electricity and uses a small amount of energy to operate. Over time, the fan motor can become worn out and need to be replaced.

When it goes bad, it can make a lot of noise. In some cases, the fan motor may also overheat, which can cause additional damage to the unit.

When troubleshooting an air conditioner, it is important to check the fan motor first. Many times, the problem can be traced back to the fan motor and not the AC unit itself.

If the fan motor is not working, it will need to be replaced. This is a relatively easy process that can be done by most do-it-yourselfers.

However, it is always best to consult with an air conditioner repair technician to be sure that the problem is with the fan motor and not something more serious.

6. Faulty AC Belt

As earlier mentioned, faulty AC belts can cause different noises, including what sounds like a jet engine noise.

This problem is most common in ducted or central air conditioning units. The AC belt plays an important role in the air conditioner by connecting the motor to the fan.

Like other parts of the AC, the belt is bound to wear and tear, causing it to loosen its grip, slip and produce what sounds like a jet engine noise.

During the summer months, the belt is also subjected to frequent expansion and contraction due to high humidity causing it to produce this kind of noise.

For this kind of problem, you will need to contact your HVAC professional to repair or replace the belt.

7. Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner may be low on refrigerant. This is a common problem, and it’s usually caused by a leak. If your AC is low on refrigerant, it will sound like a jet engine.

The good news is that this problem is easy to fix. You can buy a can of refrigerant at your local hardware store, and then you can add it to your AC yourself.

If you have an older AC unit, it may use Freon instead of refrigerant. Freon is being phased out, so you may not be able to find it at your local store. However, you can still buy it online.

There are few ways to detect refrigerant leaks on your air conditioner.

There are a few ways that you can detect a refrigerant leak. One way is to use a halide torch, which will reveal the location of the leak by the presence of a green flame.

You can also use a pressure gauge to check for leaks; if the pressure in the system is lower than it should be, there is likely a leak somewhere.

Finally, you can use a refrigerant detector, which will emit a loud noise when it comes into contact with refrigerant.

Once you’ve added the refrigerant, your AC should start working properly again. If it doesn’t, then you may have a more serious problem, and you’ll need to call a technician.

8. Dirty Air Filter

Another common cause of an AC that sounds like a jet engine is a dirty air filter. Your air conditioner has an air filter that helps to keep the air inside your home clean.

However, over time, the air filter can get clogged with dirt and dust. When this happens, your AC has to work harder to circulate the air, and it will make noise as it does so.

Cleaning your air conditioner’s filter is important for two reasons. First, a clean filter will help the air conditioner run more efficiently, which can save you money on your energy bill. Second, a clean filter will help to improve the air quality in your home by trapping dust, and other allergens.

To clean the filter, start by turning off the power to the air conditioner unit. Next, remove the filter from the unit and rinse it with warm water. If the filter is very dirty, you may need to soak it in soapy water for a few minutes before rinsing it clean. Once the filter is clean, dry it off and put it back in the air conditioner unit. Turn the power back on and enjoy clean, filtered air.

On Air Conditioner Sounds Like a Jet Engine

As I earlier mentioned, whenever your air conditioner produces noise, there are possible culprits depending on the sounds it makes.

An air conditioner should provide cool comfort and tranquility, not mimic the roar of a jet engine. While a noisy air conditioner can be a cause for concern, understanding the potential reasons behind this issue is the first step toward resolving it.

By identifying the root cause and taking appropriate measures, you can restore the serenity of your living space and ensure the optimal performance of your cooling system. So, buckle up and join us on this enlightening journey as we unveil the mystery behind the roar of an air conditioner.

To troubleshoot jet engine sounds from your air conditioner, you will need to identify the potential source by inspecting for mechanical problems such as:

  • Dirt/debris accumulation
  • Loose parts/components
  • Unbalanced fan blades
  • Faulty blower
  • Refrigerant leak
  • Abrased copper lines
  • Dirty condenser




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