Does your air conditioning unit make a weird sound when it is running? Does it sound like the fan is struggling or rattling? If so, you should take a look at it yourself. You might be able to fix the problem on your own, or at least you can diagnose what is going on. Then you could call an HVAC professional to replace your fan. This article explains how to safely inspect and clean the fan on an air conditioning condenser unit.
Shut off the Power
The first thing you need to do is shut the power off to your unit. Most condensers don't have an actual power switch, so you need to cut the power at the breaker box. You definitely do not want the unit to fire up, and for the fan to start spinning, while you were trying to work on it. This can obviously be very dangerous.
Accessing the Fan Compartment
Once the power is turned off, you need to remove the bird guard at the top of the unit. You don't need to take the entire cage off of the unit. Instead, just remove the screws that hold the guard brackets in place. With all of the screws out, you should be able to lift the guard easily off of the cage. You'll definitely want to use a flashlight to help see what you are doing when cleaning inside your condenser compartment.
Figuring Out the Source of the Problem
First, look at the actual fan blades. If they are rusty are moldy, you should just clean them. More importantly, take a look at the main fan column. At the top of this column are large bolts. Check the column with your fingers to make sure it is not loose. Also, inspect the bushings underneath the bolts to make sure they are not cracked or rotted out. If the bushings are cracked, the fan blades will not be tight and this could be the cause of the noise. If this is the case, you should probably let a professional come and fix your fan column.
The noise might also just be caused by rocks or debris that have fallen into the fan compartment. You can use a vacuum to suck these up from the floor of the main compartment. Sound can also be a result of your condenser unit not being level. Use a woodworking level to check it and prop it up with wood boards until it is perfectly level.
As you can see, you might be able to fix the problem completely on your own. Otherwise, you might need to call in a professional like those at Advanced Heating & Cooling to fix a malfunctioning fan column.
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