Reducing Air Conditioner Unit Rattling

man fixing window ac unit
  • 2-4 hours
  • Intermediate
  • 50-250
What You'll Need
Screwdriver set
Extra foam padding (if necessary)
Model name and number to purchase new parts (if necessary)
Cleaning spray

If you are having trouble with your air conditioner unit rattling or making noises, there could be several reasons. It’s best to get to the root of the noise to before it becomes a nuisance to yourself and your neighbors. It’s also best to figure out what is making the noise and rattling so that the air conditioner unit is not damaged beyond repair. The rattling noise could be caused by the unit being poorly installed, by loose or broken parts or by dust and debris. Fortunately, these reasons are fairly easy to diagnose and fix. Before you attempt to diagnose or fix any air conditioner problem, unplug the unit for safety.

Step 1 - Check for Poor Installation

One of the most common causes behind air conditioner rattling is improper installation. Most modern air conditioner units have grooves to line up when you install it in the window frame. If the grooves don’t match up, there will be rattling because of the unit being unstable. Another cause is when the outside platform doesn’t line up with the window sill.

Reinstalling the air conditioning unit is the easiest way to reduce the noise and rattling. First, check the levelness of the platform to the window. Adjust the levelness if necessary. Second, check for the looseness of the unit. Pull the unit out and reinstall, if necessary. You can also try putting additional foam around the air conditioner to improve the snug fit inside the window. This will rectify any space that was left open to cause rattling against the window frame.

Step 2 - Check for Excess Dust and Debris

Another of the easy ways to fix the rattling of an air conditioner is to check the unit for excessive dust or debris. It is very common for the outside portion of the unit to gather leaves, twigs or dirt.

Remove any obvious debris from the air conditioner unit. After that, try vacuuming any dust and debris from the inside of the unit. Lastly, use the spray cleaner. Spray the cleaner onto a rag and clean any exposed parts of the air conditioner.

Step 3 - Check for Loose or Broken Parts

This is the most complicated manner of fixing a rattling air conditioner because you will have to unscrew and remove the face of the unit in order to check the fan and the compressor for looseness and workability.

You can easily tighten any loose parts with your screwdriver. For any parts that need to be replaced, you will need the model and brand of your air conditioner before shopping for new parts. Be sure to clean the inside of the unit while you have it open.

Last of all, if none of the options work, it may be necessary to replace the whole unit. Many window air conditioners are affordable and easy to install.