How to Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner? 11 Ways

Are you wondering why your window air conditioner is making so much noise? If so, you are not the only one facing this, because our team has repaired over 1,000 AC units in the last year (2022) and 33% of them we repaired were noisy, so don’t worry, it’s normal. 

A noisy window air conditioner can be frustrating and can be difficult to figure out what the root cause is.

But to make it easier for you, and to help you quiet a noisy window air conditioner, in this blog post, we’ll take a look at 8 of the most common causes of a noisy window air conditioner and will also provide the solutions.

So you can fix it and get it working quietly. Keep reading to learn more..

Why Is My Window Air Conditioner Making Noise?

Here are 9 causes of a noisy window air conditioner to help you identify the issues and source of noise from your unit.

#1 Loose or worn fan blades

If your window air conditioner is making a rattling or wobbling noise, it could be caused by loose or worn fan blades.

The fan is the part of the air conditioning unit that draws in air and circulates it around the room. If the blades become loose or worn over time, they can cause a rattling or wobbling noise when they spin.

#2 Dirty or Clogged Air Filter

As you probably already know, every window air conditioning unit has an air filter to remove dirt, dust and other particulate matter from the air.

If the filter is clogged, dirt and dust will accumulate on the internal parts of the unit, reducing its efficiency, making the unit prone to damage, and causing unusual noise from your window AC unit because if the filter is clogged the motor will have to work harder to draw air through the filter to cool your room and this results in whistling, buzzing and rumbling sounds from the unit.

#3 Loose or damaged parts

In most cases, the source of a noisy window air conditioner can be traced back to loose or damaged parts.

And this is one of the most common causes of noisy window air conditioners. If your unit is making rattling or grinding noises, it is possible that some component in the unit is loosening and needs to be tightened. 

#4 Debris in the Fan

It is also pretty common in window air conditioners. If you’re hearing a rattling noise from your window air conditioner, then the issue could be debris lodged in the fan. Dust, dirt, and other debris accumulate over time and become trapped in the fan blades. This can cause the blades to vibrate against each other and create a rattling sound. 

#5 Dirty condenser coils

A dirty or clogged condenser coil is a common cause of window air conditioner noises. Condenser coils are responsible for extracting heat from the refrigerant, and when they become clogged or dirty they cannot release this heat effectively, causing them to vibrate and make a rattling noise. 

#6 Compressor issues

The compressor is one of the main components of a window air conditioner and is responsible for compressing and cooling the air. If your air conditioner is making noise, it could be due to a bad compressor. If the compressor is not working properly, it causes a rattling or buzzing sound. 

Also, if your air conditioner has been running for long periods of time without any breaks, it can cause the compressor to overheat and make a noise. Some other signs of a bad compressor are:

  • No cold air: If your AC unit is running but not blowing cool air then the compressor may be failing.
  • Leaking refrigerant: A bad compressor can also cause a refrigerant leak, which can be identified by a hissing or bubbling noise.

#7 Blocked or restricted airflow

Blocked or restricted airflow is one of the main causes of noisy window air conditioners. If your air conditioner has been in use for a while, then the filter needs to be replaced. Dust and dirt can build up and block the air filter, restricting air flow. 

Also, if there is an obstruction blocking the exhaust vents of your air conditioner, this can also result in noisy operation. 

A few other signs of blocked or restricted airflow are:

  • Warm air coming from the unit
  • Increased energy consumption
  • Ice or frost buildup on the coils
  • Unit turning on and off frequently

And here are the the causes of blocked air flow:

  • Dirty or clogged air filter
  • Blocked or closed air vent
  • Bad fan or compressor
  • The buildup of dust on the coils
  • Malfunctioning thermostat

#8 Improperly Installed Unit

Well if the unit is not properly installed on the window this can also lead to vibration and noise, not only these but it can also cause a lot of issues like:

  • Reduced efficiency
  • May allow hot air to enter the room
  • Reduced air flow
  • Increased risk of breakdown

And also if the unit is not level, it can cause the refrigerant to flow unevenly which skyrocket the chance to wear and tear on the compressor and noise.

#9 An older unit

If your window air conditioner has been used for more than 5 years, it may start to make more noise than before. This is usually caused by parts of the unit such as the fan blades and motor wearing out over time.

With wear and tear, the blades may begin to vibrate or move unevenly which causes noise. Some other parts such as the compressor or condenser coil may be damaged or the fins may be bent; It will all come out as noise.

How To Make A Noisy Window Air Conditioner Quieter?

A noisy window air conditioner can be disruptive and distracting. Thankfully, there are some steps you can take to make your window air conditioner quieter and less annoying.

Here, we’ll provide you with 11 ways to make your window air conditioner quieter and more bearable. Read on to know.

#1 Tighten any loose bolts and parts

The first thing you should do without doing anything is to check and tighten any loose bolts and components of your window air conditioner. There are several parts that are more likely to loosen frequently including: 

  • Fan blades: They become loose over time due to regular use.
  • Mounting bracket: The bracket holding the unit may have come loose.
  • Screws and bolts: That hold the unit together becomes loose over time.
  • Compressor

Now let’s look at steps to tighten loose parts, but first and foremost, make sure to turn off the unit, and move on:

  1. Locate loose parts: First, take a keen eye for any loose bolts, screws, or other parts that may be causing the noise. Pay attention to the unit’s frame, fan blades, compressor, and motor.
  2. Use the right tools: Then, you’ll need a socket wrench, screwdriver or a pair of pliers, depending on the type of fastener.
  3. Tighten bolts and screws: Use a wrench or screwdriver to tighten any loose bolts or screws.
  4. Tighten the fan blades: If you are hearing wobbling noise, use a pair of pliers or a screwdriver to tighten the set screws that hold the blades in its place.
  5. Repeat the process again with the other loose parts that you just found and you are good to go.

#2 Clean and replace the dirty air filter time-to-time

As you probably already know, cleaning the air filter and keeping it clean is an important step in quieting a noisy window air conditioner.

As a standard practice, you should clean the filter every month.

Cleaning the air filter

This is not enough, you have to also replace it every 3-4 months as the filter wears down over time and needs to be replaced rather than cleaned at that time. 

It is extremely easy to clean and takes literally a few minutes to clean, just take a vacuum cleaner with a hose attachment to remove any dust and debris from the filter. 

Learn more: How to clean an AC filter?

#3 Clean the fan and the motor regularly 

Regularly cleaning your window air conditioner’s fan and the motor is important to keep it running smoothly and quietly. It will also make your air conditioner efficient.

It is recommended to clean it every three to four months or as needed. Here are the steps of cleaning the fan and the motor: 

  • Turn off the window ac unit.
  • Use a soft brush or a vacuum cleaner to clean dirt and debris from the fan blades, and if the fan blades are still dirty, use mild detergent and water to scrub them.
  • After this, clean the fan motor. Use compressed air to blow out any dust particles.
  • Next, use a damp cloth to wipe down the motor casing. Make sure to avoid getting any moisture inside the motor.
  • Lastly, use an old toothbrush to clean out any dust particles that have settled in tight areas, and you are good to go.

#4 Lubricate the Shaft and Motor

Any friction in the shaft and motor can also cause noise from the unit but this is not a common issue. As a general rule of thumb, it would be good if you also remove the friction and lubricate the moving parts of the unit such as the shaft and the motor to get the most out of it.

Lubricating the parts is a simple process that can be done by applying a few drops of lubricant, use one that is specifically designed for use on air conditioning units. 

Check the owner’s manual of your unit and use the recommended lubricant, or you can use any other lubricant, click here to check the lubricant that I will suggest.

#5 Check and replace any damaged parts

The most common cause of any problems with your window AC are damaged parts. There are five main parts in a window ac unit just like a human being and if these parts get damaged then there will be a huge problem.

Inspect all parts of your unit for any signs of damage, especially the fan blades, fan motor and condenser coil. If you notice any damage, replace them as soon as possible. 

Replacing damaged parts is a fairly straightforward job. 

  1. First, turn off the power at the circuit breaker. 
  2. Then, loosen the screws on the side panel to remove them. Once the side panels are removed, you will have access to the internal parts. Inspect each one carefully for any signs of damage.
  3. If you find any parts that need to be replaced, remove them carefully and install the new ones in their place. 
  4. After replacing the damaged parts, reinstall the side panels and tighten with the screws. 
  5. Lastly, turn on the unit. Luckily, your air conditioner will now be running quietly and smoothly than ever.

#6 Clean the condenser coils and straighten the bent fins

The most effective way to reduce noise from a window air conditioner is to clean the condenser coils and straighten any bent fins. The condenser coils are found on the back of the unit’s outer casing.

But over time, these coils also get clogged with dust and dirt just like the air filter, which leads to more noise. So you should also clean it regularly, not monthly like filters but at least annually. 

To clean the condenser coils, follow the steps:

  1. Unplug the unit
  2. Then remove the outer cover. 
  3. Once the outer casing is removed, use a vacuum cleaner or compressed air to carefully remove any dust and debris from the coils.
  4. If there are any bent fins, use a fin comb to gently straighten them. After all this is done, put the outer cover back on and plug the unit back in. 

By the way, if you don’t have a fin comb, you can buy it from here.

#7 Install your unit properly

Installing your window air conditioner is an important step in ensuring that it runs efficiently and quietly. Proper installation can help reduce noise and will improve the overall performance of your unit.

When installing your unit, be sure to measure the window correctly and use a level to make sure the unit is installed correctly. 

Learn: How to install a window air conditioner properly?

#8 Try adding extra insulations

One of the easiest and most effective ways to quiet a noisy window air conditioner is to add extra insulation. Not only will this help reduce noise, but it can also help you save energy. Consider adding an insulated liner to the exterior of your unit, which will help block out sound from inside.

You might also consider wrapping foam around the unit, as this may help to absorb some of the sounds. Click here to view the foam insulation suggested by @Mr. Ashish (A Soundproofing Expert)

#9 Give it a yearly inspections

How to Maintain an Air Conditioner

It is essential to have your window air conditioner inspected every year. This is extremely important and beneficial to both you and your unit, it will ensure that the unit is working properly and that all parts are in good working condition. 

  1. Start this step by inspecting the air filter. Clean it or replace it if necessary.
  2. Next, check all moving parts to make sure they are not worn or damaged. Lubricate the moving parts if needed and make sure all bolts are tight.
  3. Inspect the condenser coils and straighten any bent fins if necessary.
  4. Lastly, check all electrical connections and make sure they are secure and properly insulated.

By taking this step, you can help keep your window air conditioner running quietly and efficiently for years to come. But it would be even better if you would consider having an HVAC technician to inspect the unit and spot any issues that are preventing it from getting the most out of it.

Because you can inspect it ten times and not find any issue but once a professional will inspect it they will find ten problems.

#10 Use a white noise machine

using a white noise machine

Well this is an advanced step and requires some costs. And this step should only be taken after checking all the above steps but still your window is noisy.

A white noise machine is a device that produces white background noise that is designed to mask other sounds. White noise is a mixture of all frequencies of sound that the human ear can hear. 

This device can mask many noises such as the noise of your air conditioner, street noise, upstairs neighbors’ noise and many more. There are many benefits to using a white noise machine, in addition to masking the noise of your AC unit, it also helps you fall asleep, stay asleep, and improve your overall sleep quality.

Check out the top-rated white noise machine recommended by @Mr. Ashish from here.

#11 Buy a new Quiet Window Air Conditioner

Quietest window air conditioner

If you’ve tried all the tips and tricks and combated all causes of noise from your window AC unit, but it’s still making a loud noise, and you’ve had the unit for more than 5 years, it’s time to get a replacement AC unit. Consider replacing it with a new one. Replacing it with a quiet window AC unit is a win-win situation. A quieter unit can make all the difference in your comfort. 

Pay special attention to noise levels when choosing a new quiet window AC unit. A study of 1,037 window AC units by found that the noise level of a window unit ranged between 33-67 dB. And a sound level above 60 dB is not considered quiet, so be sure to choose a unit whose noise level does not exceed 60 dB.

But that’s just one factor of a good quality window air conditioner, and it can be complicated if you’re a novice. So to make it easy for you we have published a list of the Top 8 Low Noise Level Window AC, you can get help from that post.

FAQ: How To Make a Window Air Conditioner Quieter?

Here are some frequently asked questions that will help you get an in-depth knowledge of the topic.

Q1. How can I determine if my window air conditioner is making excessive noise?

Ans: You can determine if your window air conditioner is actually making excessive noise by actually checking the noise level. If it’s over 60 dB it’s loud, and if it’s 70 dB or more it’s very loud.

Q2. Can cleaning or maintaining my window air conditioner help to reduce the noise it produces?

Ans: Yes, cleaning or maintaining your window air conditioner helps to reduce the noise it produces, but cleaning or maintaining the right parts at the right time will be more beneficial than cleaning or maintaining it when you feel.

Q3. Are there any other techniques or methods I can use to reduce the noise from my window air conditioner?

Ans: Yes, there are. Maintenance and cleaning are by far the best techniques or methods you can use to reduce noise from your window air conditioner, but not all parts require cleaning at the same time interval. For example, air filters need to be cleaned every month, but coils don’t need to be cleaned every month.

Q4. Can installing a soundproofing material around my window air conditioner help to reduce the noise?

Ans: Yes, installing soundproofing material around your window air conditioner helps reduce noise, but the reduction will be very low.

Q5. Can using a white noise machine help to reduce the noise from my window air conditioner?

Ans: Using a white noise machine will not only help reduce the noise from your window air conditioner, but they help mask the noise generated by your window AC unit by creating a white background noise.

Q6. What are some common signs that my window air conditioner needs to be serviced or repaired?

Ans: Common signs that your window air conditioner needs service or repair are the unit not blowing cool air, unusual noises, leaks, poor airflow, increased energy bills, the unit freezing and turning on and off frequently.

Closing Remarks: How To Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner?

A noisy window air conditioner is really frustrating. There are several methods that you can use to make your window air conditioner quieter. I’ve mentioned 11 ways above to quiet a noisy window AC unit, but one tip that can make all the difference in your unit’s performance and keep it running smoothly and quietly is regular maintenance.

This includes tasks such as cleaning the air filter, tightening bolts and screws, lubricating moving parts and checking and refilling refrigerant levels. It is recommended to do it once a year, but keep in mind to clean the air filter every month and replace it every 3-4 months.

By implementing these you will be able to prevent your window air conditioner from becoming noisy in the future and by following the above solutions you can make your unit quieter.

More from us:

David Jack

David Jack

David Jack is a veteran when it comes to air conditioners, he love helping people find solutions to their problems with AC units. His specialty is helping people find the right Air-Conditioner for their needs, whether that means replacing a broken unit or adding on to an existing system. He is also great at diagnosing problems and fixing them quickly. He learned this from my father Jack Smith who was an air conditioner repairer, he has 2 years of experience in this field.

We will be happy to hear your thoughts

Leave a reply