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Why Is My Air Conditioner Making a Rattling Noise

Why Won’t My Air Conditioner Turn Off

Rattling noises coming from your air conditioner is a common problem, but usually indicates that something more serious is going on so you don’t want to wait until it is too late!

The most common culprits of rattling noises in air conditioners are:

Detached panels Debris (usually in the outdoor unit)Faulty or damaged motor Faulty fan blades If you hear a rattling sound coming from your air conditioner, there are a few things you can check first.

First and foremost however, your AC should be assessed by a professional. That way any potential issues can be solved properly and in a timely manner. Remember: You don’t want to wait too long to fix them, as that can lead to irreparable damage to your AC unit, which will cost you more in the long term. So let’s dive in.

Detached Panels

The panels that enclose the outdoor or indoor units might make a rattling noise if they aren’t as solidly fastened as they should be. This might be due to loose screws caused by the vibrations of the AC unit over time, or because the screws were not sufficiently tightened the last time the panel was opened.

What to do: Ensure that all panels (both indoors and out) are secure, and tighten any loose screws if necessary. If you can’t seem to silence your air conditioner’s rattle, get in touch with a specialist. There might be additional misplaced components causing the noise, and you don’t want to harm your AC unit any further by attempting to fix it on your own.


Debris, such as leaves, twigs, and gravel, can get caught in your outdoor air conditioner’s grille, resulting in a rattling noise while it operates. What to do: Call a specialist to clean your outdoor air conditioner, as soon as possible. Debris can severely damage the internal components of your air conditioner, so it’s critical that they are removed immediately. A good practice to adopt is to keep the space surrounding your outdoor unit clean and tidy, so as to prevent debris from clogging it in the future.

Faulty Or Damaged Motor

The motors are the internal engines that drive a lot of the different components of your AC unit. As with any engine, these motors can be damaged or cease to function as intended and as a result parts of the unit can go loose. If that happens, you are very likely to hear a rattling noise.

What to do: While diagnosing a faulty motor is relatively easy, fixing it is not. Call a specialist to help with this issue sooner rather than later; a faulty motor can severely decrease the life span and the efficiency levels of your air conditioner and may even lead to more serious problems, like explosions and fire hazards.

Faulty Fan Blades

It is very common for fans to be misaligned. This typically occurs in outdoor units and as a result, the casing of the unit is constantly being hit by the blades. This may well be a culprit of the rattling noise you are experiencing, and it is often due to poor installation or debris that has dislodged the fan or one of its blades.

What to do:

While keeping the area around your outdoor unit clean can help in preventing debris from falling inside, you should not attempt to clean existing debris on your own. Instead, seek professional support. Specialists can also help with misaligned fans that were installed improperly.

Thankfully, this type of problem is covered by warranty, so make sure to check with the contractor or the company who originally installed your system.

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