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Old 08-08-2013, 12:52 PM   #1
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Noise when A/C cycles on


I am getting an odd noise when our central A/C system cycles on. Its a abrupt BRR noise thats pretty hard to ignore, even from the other side of the house. Honestly, its kind of hard to tell if its comming from the unit outside, or from the inside unit that is in the basement.

The system seems to be cooling well enough, and does not make any unusual noise once its running.

Thoughts??
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:05 PM   #2
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Noise when A/C cycles on


If it is a hum at the lineset, that is normal. You need to go outside and listen, when it starts, stand at the furnace and listen. If the lineset passes through a attic, crawlspace, basement, it could be how it has been laid, that is making the sound more noticable.

I readjusted my lineset, how it runs across my ceiling, and got rid of a lot of the vibration from the freon moving through it, just by adjusting the lineset or brackets in a couple of places.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:12 PM   #3
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Noise when A/C cycles on


Its a very abrubt "BBRR" noise when it fires up. Much louder than any central AC sytem I have ever been around.

We purchased this house about 10 months ago. I am not sure if its gotten worse? Or if I am just noticing it more because I have been working from home for the last 2 weeks.

So are you suggesting that it could be harmonics from the refrigerant running though the copper lines?? Maybe just securing the lines might help???
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:18 PM   #4
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Noise when A/C cycles on


It's probably the compressor starting up. Only way to know for sure is to go outside and start it up.
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:39 PM   #5
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Noise when A/C cycles on


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Originally Posted by djlandkpl View Post
It's probably the compressor starting up. Only way to know for sure is to go outside and start it up.
Yea, I went through that exercise yesteday, when our plumber was over working on the kitchen.

We both listened outside and downstairs by the furnace/air handler. Its really kind of hard to tell where its comming from. Mike (the plumber) was pretty sure it was comming from outside (louder out there), but its deffinatly audible from the basement, and I am not convinced the problem is not originating from the inside air handler (area).
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Old 08-08-2013, 03:48 PM   #6
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Noise when A/C cycles on


How bout isolating the two by starting the air handler on manual ( fan ) without the stat calling for cool.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:18 PM   #7
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Noise when A/C cycles on


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How bout isolating the two by starting the air handler on manual ( fan ) without the stat calling for cool.
Thats a good idea. I will try that.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:18 PM   #8
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Noise when A/C cycles on


If you just purchased the house 10 months ago it should be checked by a Pro to see if it is low on Freon or needs any other proper maintenance. The tech can check the noise at the same time. Fail to do so and huge expenses or damage can occur if the compressor burns out and we have had a few posters this Summer with that problem.
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Old 08-08-2013, 04:44 PM   #9
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Noise when A/C cycles on


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If you just purchased the house 10 months ago it should be checked by a Pro to see if it is low on Freon or needs any other proper maintenance. The tech can check the noise at the same time. Fail to do so and huge expenses or damage can occur if the compressor burns out and we have had a few posters this Summer with that problem.
We paid somewhere around $400 to have a home inspection done. I would have thought they would have checked that out. Last couple of moves have made me feel like a home inspection is just a waste of money. We did get a home warranty, but am not sure if thats worth any more that the paper its written on.

Anyway, I turned the thermostadt to 'off' and cycled the fan on/off a few times. I deffinately think the sound is related to the outside unit firing up.
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Old 08-08-2013, 05:36 PM   #10
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Noise when A/C cycles on


Home inspections.... I have had a couple friends get those recently and watched one done. I guess it is a good thing and the guy seemed pretty competent, but he was NOT an HVAC expert. Alls he did was verify that the system looked OK and basically functioned. He did not do a thorough test with gages and thermocouples, etc. His report had some standard boilerplate caveat that said if you needed more info than his quick inspection you should hire an HVAC contractor.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:00 PM   #11
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Noise when A/C cycles on


U should get it checked anyway. if it is low on Freon then your elec $$ costs 2 run it will B higher and I am sure U don't want that.
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Old 08-08-2013, 06:48 PM   #12
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Noise when A/C cycles on


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Originally Posted by caveeagle View Post
We paid somewhere around $400 to have a home inspection done. I would have thought they would have checked that out. Last couple of moves have made me feel like a home inspection is just a waste of money. We did get a home warranty, but am not sure if thats worth any more that the paper its written on.

Anyway, I turned the thermostadt to 'off' and cycled the fan on/off a few times. I deffinately think the sound is related to the outside unit firing up.
Home Inspectors are not the best resource of making sure the structure is soundworthy of mechanical, electrical, etc. in working order. Unless you get a company that is in the trades, or someone that did construction, or grew up in the business, or various trades, most HI's are not any better than the kid flipping burgers at your local fast food restaurant.

Get a recording of the sound, with all other noise makers off (that means spouse, girlfriend/roommate, kids, animals gone). Then figure out where it is coming from and try to record on your smartphone.

Post make & model of the inside unit, outside unit, that gives the hvac techs on here, and you can also find out the age of the unit, if not clearly marked on them, or a sticker showing when installed.

Not necessarily does it mean the unit may be low on refrigerant, it may be just that the motor is noisier than most. For example, when our fridge compressor cycles off, it makes a clear shake noise when it shuts down, due to it is now over ten years old, but I am just too lazy to look for a loose mount on it.

If you can post someone at the thermostat, the furnace and the outside unit, then cycle on the a/c, you can figure out where it is coming from.

My fair guess is that it is just the compressor coming online, that you hear that noise, when there is a call for cooling.

As a fellow homeowner, I have been through my ups and downs, since we purchased this place in 2003. In 2005 got a new furnace installed (won for having a old Octopus furnace that was over 70 years), ended up in 2007 getting a new roof on our home, due to the "Sears" roofers screwed it up when the original homeowner who had the house since the day her husband built it, did the roof around 1998 from what we could figure from her receipts. A full bath remodel & having central air installed in 2010, water heater just this year. Also have had to do various plumbing issues, such as cutting roots out of our main waste line going out to the city sewer, due to we have two Soft Maples, who species loves to find sewer mains during heat waves, or Summer.

You are not alone, when it comes to the luxury of being a home owner, and the enjoyment that comes along with it. That is why all of us are here, and most of us do get a little out of hand ribbing each other, or speaking out loud when it is one of those wth moments.

So welcome to the club, just if it keeps getting to the point that sucker does not go away, keep playing detective.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:06 PM   #13
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Noise when A/C cycles on


As one of my coworkers and I always say semi-facetiously when the next maintenance issue arises: homeownership, the American nightmare! Probably applies to those of you living elsewhere, too.

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You are not alone, when it comes to the luxury of being a home owner, and the enjoyment that comes along with it. That is why all of us are here, and most of us do get a little out of hand ribbing each other, or speaking out loud when it is one of those wth moments.

So welcome to the club, just if it keeps getting to the point that sucker does not go away, keep playing detective.
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Old 08-08-2013, 07:12 PM   #14
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Noise when A/C cycles on


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Originally Posted by caveeagle View Post
Its a very abrubt "BBRR" noise when it fires up. Much louder than any central AC sytem I have ever been around.

We purchased this house about 10 months ago. I am not sure if its gotten worse? Or if I am just noticing it more because I have been working from home for the last 2 weeks.

So are you suggesting that it could be harmonics from the refrigerant running though the copper lines?? Maybe just securing the lines might help???
Is this a new home and you are original owner? Or is this an old home, new to you with new equipment installed?

Reason I asked after we had our 2 units replaced, they apparently did not secure the lines correctly in the verticle wall and we get a noise on start up. I am reasonably sure it's the line sets vibrating.
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:23 AM   #15
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Noise when A/C cycles on


Good thought, digplumber. Also look at the spot where the lineset from the condenser penetrates the exterior wall. I can imagine that if there wasn't plenty of plumbers putty (which I replaced a few years ago as the original was drying out) in the hole my lines could probably rattle pretty bad against the siding.
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