Why Is My Air Conditioning Unit Shaking?

AC Repair and Maintenance
Thu, 06/23/2022 - 9:00am 

Why Is My Air Conditioning Unit Shaking?

A shaking air conditioning unit should be a reason for concern for anything mechanical that normally doesn't vibrate or shake when it's operating. While this doesn't necessarily mean you'll need a new cooling system, it's a problem best taken care of as quickly as possible. Below, we take a look at why your AC unit is shaking and what can be done about it.

Dirt and Debris

An accumulation of dirt and debris sometimes cause you AC unit to shake. This is more likely to be the case with the outside unit since it's more exposed to the elements and things like leaves, grass, and dirt. However, a dirty filter could also contribute to unusual vibrations during operation. Dirt and debris may also suddenly get into your outside unit after a severe storm or high winds and leave you with a shaking system when it runs.

Mechanical Problems

If it's not the filter or a dirty inside or outside unit causing the problem, mechanical issues may be contributing to your AC unit shaking or vibrating. Issues of this nature may be related to:

  • A fan motor or compressor that needs repairing
  • An out of balance blower wheel or motor fan blade
  • Loose connections or internal parts

It's often possible to make repairs to correct mechanical problems of this nature, although there are some exceptions. For instance, if the fan motor or compressor is severely worn out or damaged, replacing the entire unit may be more cost-effective.

Possible Signs of Failure

If shaking starts just as your AC kicks in at the beginning of a cycle, it could be a sign of failure. This is referred to as a "hard start," and it's a potentially serious problem if it happens each time a cycle starts. There could also be an issue with a part called the start capacitor that's causing this issue. One other possibility is a refrigerant leak that's causing the unit to work harder each time it operates – to the point where shaking is noticed.

Resolving the Problem

We realize it's not ideal to turn off your AC when it's sweltering and humid, and you need your inside spaces cooled. However, it's best to turn off your unit immediately if it's suddenly vibrating excessively or shaking in a noticeable way. The reason for doing so is to prevent further damage and maintain your safety. Resolving the problem may involve:

  • Being more diligent about routine AC maintenance
  • Having mechanical issues properly taken care of by an HVAC professional
  • A thorough cleaning
  • Replacing worn or damaged parts
  • Tightening connections and making a few other adjustments

Call Us Today

Once you turn off your shaking air conditioning unit, give the experts at Command Service Center a call. Our technicians have the tools, skills, and parts required to troubleshoot and resolve a wide range of AC problems. We're also here to help you out if it's time to discuss and consider a new air conditioning unit.

Contact our experienced comfort pros today for prompt assistance with any AC issues.


Need to request a service appointment? Contact Command Service Center at (847) 558-7780 or use our online form to get started today!