Stop Your Portable Air Conditioner Vibrating in 4 Steps

Stop Your Portable Air Conditioner Vibrating in 4 Steps

Unwanted noise can be distracting and annoying! 

If you have AC and you’re trying to cool your home office, your bedroom, or your living room, where you’re trying to work, sleep, or perhaps watch TV, it’s understandable you’d want to stop your portable air conditioner from vibrating or making other obnoxious noises.

There are a few reasons why your portable AC may rattle or vibrate. It could be sitting on an uneven surface, there may be issues with the fan, it may be bouncing up and down on the floor, or you may just have a particularly noisy model. Fortunately, there are remedies for most situations.

So keep reading and find out what to do to stop the noise.

What You’ll Need

In many cases, fixing a vibrating portable air conditioner may be as easy as moving it to a different location—meaning you won’t need any tools. Having said that, there is a chance you’ll need the following.

  • Screwdriver 
  • An anti-vibration pad
  • Soft cloth or brush
  • Water and dish soap

How to Stop Your Portable Air Conditioner Vibrating

As mentioned above, there are a few different reasons for a vibrating air conditioner. The following sections will list those reasons and what you can do to fix the problem.

However, before we get to that, be aware that vibrations can cause different sounds. It may sound like a hum, a rattle, a buzz, or even banging. So with that in mind, let’s proceed.

Check the Surface it’s Sitting On

If you have your air conditioner sitting on a hard floor, is it level? You don’t need to go find a bubble level and get all scientific, just see if the air conditioner rocks at all when you lightly nudge it with your hand. 

If all four wheels aren’t sitting flush on the floor, as soon as the unit starts running it will start to vibrate. And depending on how unlevel the floor is, you might get a very faint buzzing or humming vibration or a much louder banging vibration.

Step 1

This is a perfect reason to get all new floors. Just kidding!

If you’re determined to keep your air conditioner in the same spot and oriented in the same direction, try to determine which wheel is not flush with the floor. Then start building up a small platform for that wheel or use a wood shim from a hardware store, just like you would do for a wobbly table. 

Step 2

Every time you move the air conditioner to a different spot, check to see if the floor is level. If not, repeat the process in step 1. 

Consider Placing Your Portable AC on a Rug

Even if your floor is perfectly flat, you may still get some sounds caused by vibrations. So if it works with your decorating preferences, consider a rug. It would do a great job of muffling any unwanted sound, assuming the floor/wheel connection was the problem. 

However, there may be better choices than a very plat pile rug. Look for something with a higher pile and a bit more cushioning factor to help deaden the noise. 

Use an Anti-Vibration Pad

This option will achieve the same thing the above-mentioned rug will do, but it isn’t something you could think of as a décor choice. However, when it comes to noise reduction, an anti-vibration pad probably can’t be beat. 

The pad works as a buffer between the air conditioner in the floor, isolating and absorbing most of the vibration.

Check the Fan

Almost any moving parts on your air conditioner could be the source of the vibration and noise. However, the most likely culprit is the fan. It could be caused simply because of the fan speed or there may be problems with the fan or fan motor.

Step 1

Before taking your air conditioner apart to inspect the fan housing, do a test on different fan speeds to see if that impacts the level of vibration and noise.

If you typically run your fan on high, set it to medium, assuming there’s a medium setting, and see if that helps with the noise. If not, see what happens at the lowest setting. If adjusting fan speed does help with the vibrations, there may not be anything else you can do — other than continue to run your air conditioner at the low setting. 

Of course, there is another alternative but that would be buying a new, quieter air-conditioner.

Step 2

Power off your air conditioner. 

Step 3

How to Take Apart a Portable Air Conditioner

If different fan speeds had no impact on the vibration, the next thing to do is take your air conditioner apart and check the fan.

Note that every air conditioner is different, but please refer to the video above to give you a general idea of how to open up your unit. If you have the user’s manual, please refer to it. 

Step 4

Check to see if there’s a buildup of dirt on the fan blades and clean if necessary, using a soft cloth or brush along with warm water and mild detergent, such as dish soap.

Step 5

Make sure the fan blades move freely by pushing them with your hand. Do they rub against anything? That could be the source of your vibration, and it would definitely produce a rattling or banging sound. 


If your air conditioner is vibrating, it can be irritating, especially if the vibration is paired with some sort of noise. Fortunately, as you now know, there are a few things you can do about it.

To recap, you can:

  • Check to make sure your portable air conditioner is sitting on a flat surface
  • Consider putting your air conditioner on a rug
  • Buy an anti-vibrating pad and place your air conditioner on it
  • Check to make sure that the fan blades are clean and there are no obstructions

Hopefully, one of the above suggestions worked for you. While you’re here, why not check out our related posts below? Perhaps we can help you with something else.

I've been helping homeowners with appliance repair since 2016. Starting out as an enthusiastic amateur, I've since worked with many Appliance, HVAC, and DIY experts over the last 7+ years. My mission is to help fix your appliances and prevent future issues - saving you stress, time, and money. Visit my author page to learn more! Read more