If the outdoor unit for your central air conditioning system or heat pump is keeping you or your guests awake at night because it is so noisy, there are a few things you can do to help reduce the noise level so you can get a good night’s sleep. The outdoors unit (called the condenser) runs whenever the air conditioning system is operating. If you have a heat pump, the unit will also run when the heat is on. So how can you deal with air conditioner noise?
Most HVAC contractors try to install the unit in a location away from windows and outdoor entertainment areas so that the normal operating noise will not be as noticeable when it is running. However, sometimes the condenser ends up installed in an unfortunate spot right outside a bedroom window or next to the patio. If this is the case there are still some steps to help with air conditioner noise.
Regular residential HVAC service by a reputable HVAC contractor is the first step. There could be a problem with the pump or a loose fan blade striking the enclosure, which would cause a lot of air conditioner noise. Once you are sure that the unit is serviced and operating properly, check the enclosure for loose sheet metal. Vibrating sheet metal can cause a lot of racket and sometimes securing the metal enclosure will make a world of difference.
Another alternative to minimize air conditioner noise is to build an enclosure around the unit, but be very careful to allow plenty of room for air to flow around the equipment. Your HVAC technician can tell you how much space is necessary. Also, the enclosure should be removable to allow easy access for servicing.
You might also talk to your HVAC contractor about moving the condenser to a better location. There is some expense involved with running the lines and electricity but sometimes even moving the unit a few feet can make a big difference.