If you’ve ever been in a situation where your air conditioner is making a loud, obnoxious noise that sounds like a jet engine, then you know how frustrating it can be.
Not only is the noise incredibly annoying, but it can also be a sign that something is wrong with your AC unit.
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 article, we’ll discuss some of the common causes of this problem and what you can do to fix it.
1. Dirty Evaporator Coils
Another common cause of an air conditioner making a jet engine noise is because the evaporator coils are dirty.
The evaporator coils are responsible for absorbing heat from the air inside your home and then releasing it outside.
If these coils become dirty, they can’t properly do their job and the result is a loud noise coming from your AC unit. To clean the coils, you’ll need to turn off the power to your AC unit and remove the front panel.
Once you have access to the coils, simply use a soft brush to remove any dirt or debris that may be clogging them.
2. Faulty AC compressor
One of the most common reasons why an air conditioner may start making a jet engine noise is because the compressor is failing.
The compressor is responsible for circulating refrigerant throughout the AC unit, and when it starts to fail, it can make a lot of noise.
If you suspect that your compressor is failing, you should contact a qualified AC repair technician to have it replaced.
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
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.
As I earlier mentioned, whenever your air conditioner produces noise, there are possible culprits depending on the sounds it makes.
Therefore, it’s always important to pinpoint the exact kind of noise you’re dealing with. Makes sure that it’s jet engine-like sounds and not something like humming or banging noises.
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
Meet Mike O’Connor, (a DIY enthusiast), living in Cincinnati, a city ranked as the noisiest in the USA.
As a work from home dad, I have a first hand experience of how noise can truly affect your well being.
Soundproofing isn’t something that should be taken as a hobby, it should be a skill that every homeowner should be equipped with.
Most of the work documented on this blog comes from purely first hand experience, and the products recommended work as indicated.