9 Effective Ways To Stop Air Conditioner Vibration

Liz Yang

When an air conditioner begins to vibrate, it usually indicates that something is wrong. The vibrating noise is so distracting that you may desire to stop it as soon as possible.

Fortunately, once the source of the vibration is identified, it is often simple to eliminate.

In this post, I’ll go over the most common causes of vibrating noise in an air conditioner and then show you how to properly stop the vibration.

Don’t want to hear those annoying vibrations again? You should take a few minutes to read this article.

Why is my AC vibrating so much?

Before we jump into the methods to stop AC vibrations, we should figure out why your AC is making a vibrating noise because we may need to address it differently according to the causes.

The outdoor unit will vibrate slightly under normal conditions because the compressor inside is working. However, this noise is tolerable and has been mitigated by vibrating pads and isolation feet. When the vibration becomes significant and unbearable, you should pay attention.

The loud vibrations are usually caused by loose parts, unbalanced fan blades, or a lack of insulation. A faulty fan motor or compressor may be to blame in some cases. Large objects stuck in the condenser coil could also be the source of the problem.

As your air conditioner ages or needs to be cleaned, it will become more prone to producing loud vibrations.

How to stop air conditioner vibration correctly?

Now that you know why your air conditioner vibrates, let’s look at how to fix it. Even if you are not a handyman, some methods are simple to implement.

1. Replace or add the vibration pads or isolator

To make sure the outdoor unit is placed in a level position, we often use a condenser pad. When the compressor is working, the case of the outdoor unit may constantly rub against the condenser pad, making a pulsating noise

To reduce noise and vibration, vibration pads or isolation feet will be installed under each corner of the outdoor unit, creating a gap between the pad and the case and preventing vibration from transforming into the pad.

These pads, however, can degrade or shift over time. You should inspect the condition every few months. If it is broken, you can easily get a replacement at a low cost online.

To install it, you should cut off the power supply and lift the outdoor unit a bit to insert the pad under the corner of the case. If you decide to install an isolator, you need to take a bit more time. See how Seicon limited did it.

2. Loosen the bolts that secure the compressor

If you have a brand-new air conditioner, it is possible that the bolts holding the compressor in place are too tight. This will cause more vibrations to be transmitted to the parts surrounding it, resulting in an unexpected noise.

You can try loosening the bolts to see if the noise is reduced.

3. Tighten the screws and bolts

This appears to contradict what I said earlier, but it does not. An air conditioner is made up of several parts. Screws and bolts are frequently used to secure these components. As these components continue to function, they will generate tiny vibrations, causing the screws and bolts to loosen gradually.

The screws, nuts, and bolts will then begin to hit the metal around them, producing a buzzing noise and causing additional tear and wear inside your AC.

As a result, you must tighten those screws and bolts on a regular basis to reduce vibration and extend the life of your machine.

If you don’t want to do it, you can hire a local contractor to do it for you.

4. Add insulation 

add insulation to refrigerant lines

Another effective way to stop vibration is by adding insulation. For example, refrigerant lines connect the indoor and outdoor units. When the AC is turned on, these lines will experience some minor vibrations.

The vibrations, however, will expand if there is no insulation between the wall and these lines.

If you have a window air conditioner, there may be some gaps between the window frame and the AC case. If airflow enters the room through these gaps, vibrations will occur.

Fortunately, these vibrations could be quickly remedied by adding some insulation foams to the lines and gaps.

5. Tighten loose ductwork

Most American families use central air conditioning systems. That is to say, the ductwork could be the culprit of vibrations as well since the screws and nuts in the system can become loose.

Likewise, you can use a screwdriver to fasten these loose parts. Given that these ducts are often located in the basement and furnace, it may be difficult for you to access them. In this case, you can make a call to an HVAC expert.

6. Add lubricant to the fan motor 

The fan motor requires lubricating oil to reduce friction when operating. When the lubricant level is low, more friction will happen, and you can hear louder vibrating noises.

While asking a pro to add lubricant is your best bet, you can try to add it yourself if you have the repairing experience. 

Again, turn off the breaker ahead of time. Then you can open the unit, access the oil ports, remove the plug, and fill it with lubricating oil. After replacing the plug, manually spin the blades to evenly distribute the oil.

Swimming in the Deep has a video that walks you through the process step by step.

7. Clean unbalanced fan blades and coils

When the fan blades are not aligned, they can create not only vibrations but also clicking noises. Most of the time, this is due to a buildup of grime and dirt on the blades. This will also bend the blades.

Naturally, removing these buildups and bending these blades back to their original position is the best way to stop vibration in this case.

Aside from that, the large particles stuck in the condenser coils could also lead to vibrations.

If you know how to access the fan blades or coils, you can remove the dirt with a vacuum or soft cloth and restore the fan blades with a plier. But please take safety precautions. 

8. Adjust the set temperature

You may notice that the vibrations only occur when the temperature is set too low. When your air conditioner is forced to operate at full capacity all of the time, it produces more vibrations.

By raising the set temperature, you can easily stop the vibration.

9. Replace the compressor or the unit

I know it’s the last thing you want to hear, but if none of the above methods work, you may need to replace the compressor.

However, a compressor is expensive to purchase. If your AC has serviced you for a long time, purchasing a new unit could be a more sensible idea.

Wrap up 

Vibrations coming out from the air conditioner are annoying. Your house may even shake together. 

I have summarized 9 methods to stop the vibrations in AC. Adding insulation, cleaning your machine thoroughly, or tightening loose parts often work wonders.

I hope this guide is useful to you.

Liz Yang is the founder of Airsmartly. She has been working at home for a few years and realizes that the performance of the HVAC system plays such an important role in our life. She has tested a lot of products in person, like humidifiers, air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and ACs, and wants to share tips about using or troubleshooting these products with you. Her uncle is an HVAC expert with over 30 years of experience in the field, and often offers assistance when she is unsure how to handle a situation. He is also in charge of reviewing the articles on this site.