Four Things To Try Before You Replace A Noisy Fan Belt In Your AC Unit

Though a fan belt may look relatively small and insignificant when it's removed, it's one of the most crucial moving parts of any AC unit. Without it, the motor that causes a cooled air stream to circulate throughout your home can't transfer its power effectively. When your AC unit is noisy and you find out that the fan belt is causing it, check out these four things to try before you replace the belt.

Remove The Belt And Dust Off Both It And Its Gears

The first thing to do is eliminate foreign dust particles as a cause for the noisiness. The best way to do this is to use a small dust cloth purchased at your local hardware store on both the belt itself and the gears it's connected to.

Don't bend your belt out of shape by pressing too hard with the dust cloth. That will only make your noise problem worse. Instead, go gently while making as many horizontal passes as necessary to get all the dust you can see.

Submerge The Belt In Warm Water And Dry It Off With A Towel

If your belt is making noise because it's become too rigid, submerging it in warm sink water may help it to ease up a little. To get the full effect, leave the belt underwater for at least a few minutes.

Just make sure all the water on the belt is totally cleared off before you put it back on the gears. To be sure, you can leave the belt standing in a warm room for an hour or so after you dry it off with your towel.

Use Your Hands To Run The Belt Through Its Course A Few Times

The belt may be noisy because not all parts of it are touching the gears it's supposed to run. To remedy this, after you replace the belt, gently run it through a few revolutions with your hands. Touch every part of the belt and push down on every air pocket that develops between the belt and one of the gears.

Apply A Small Amount Of Lubricant To The Belt's Gears

If everything else fails, you can always use some lubricant that's designed especially for HVAC systems. To prevent the lubricant from making the belt too loose, don't apply more than a few drops to each gear.

Though it's not always possible to prevent the purchase of a new fan belt, it doesn't hurt to try. Going through a few troubleshooting steps will also give you valuable experience you can use on future home maintenance projects.

If these tips don't help or you're not comfortable poking around in your air conditioner, contact an HVAC contractor for help.