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Heat Pump Whining Noise

Question
Often I'll hear a loud whining coming from my Trane XE1000 compressor outside. Maybe bearing noise?
This is a heater pump with the "auxiliary" stage. Btw, my last electric bill was $350 and I used 1000 killowatts more than I did last year for this month.
Anyways, my limited research shows that replacing the fan compressor in the outdoor unit may resolve the noise problem.
I'm fairly mechanical and love DIY stuff. I just need to know of this will be as simple as shutting off the breaker at the compressor outside and doing a simple swap with the unit that Grainger will sell me?
Or will I have to mess around with refrigerant lines? That would be something I'd prefer to leave to a professional.
Thanks for any suggestions!
Btw, I'd like to also clean the unit while I'm doing this. I'll search the board for info on that.

Here are pics of the unit in case anyone is interested.

I took a short video so folks could hear the noise. Much of what you hear is the normal "rushing" sound of the fan spinning. But you can also hear the high pitched sound that has me concerned.

Answer
Are you sure it isn't your reversing valve making the noise.
Usually if its a fan motor. It will make the noise all the time.

Feedback
No, I'm not certain. Other than consistency of noise, is there a good troubleshooting method to be certain which is the culprit?
The noise is not constant every moment the fan is on. It comes and goes. I haven't paid attention to exactly when it comes on. But when it is screetching/whining, it usually is like that for several minutes.
Btw I do use the auxiliary heat quite a bit. I hate being cold.

Answer
Sounds a bit like blow by in the compressor. Is the large line hot while its running.

Feedback
Yes, the large line is too hot to touch for more than a few moments

Answer
Check your indoor coil. Could be too dirty.

Feedback

To my inexperienced eye, it looks fine. But I don't know what to look for.
Would you recommend a foaming spray-on cleaner or mixed-solution cleaner & brush? I'll ask Home Depot on my way home from work tomorrow.

Answer
Bottom side of the coil is what you need to look at.

Feedback

I'm kind of nervous to realize just how bad that looks. The air I breath passes through this!!
I'm going to break out the shop vac right now and brush some of this off. Then I'll do the chemical cleaning next weekend as planned.

I just noticed I have a full thing of CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust remover). Can I use this to clean the coil with?
Also have some Jomax.

Answer
CLR might eat the aluminum,don't know for sure though. A soft hair brush will get that off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feedback
That is some NASTY caked up stuff on the coils. The brush alone is not going to do the job without some chemical assistance. At least not without destroying the fins.

After just a minute of brushing.                                             This big piece fell right on my face.


Wow, after just a few minutes of brushing gunk off, the HVAC system is already MUCH quieter inside & outside!!
Air smells a little funny though.
Btw, this is my first house in case anyone is interested. All of this stuff is new to me.

Answer
Just spray it with water for now to loosen it up and the brush it down. 90% will come off with water alone.

Feedback
That did help quite a bit. I knocked off quite a bit of the gunk. There is still much left inside the fins, but the gunk stuck to the outside is mostly removed now.
Still getting the whining from the outdoor unit. Hopefully after I finish cleaning next weekend, the whine will go away. Or I'll start troubleshooting the next thing.

Answer
You'll find that Simplegreen will work well on that coil. And won't harm the copper or aluminum.
Spray it on both sides of the coil so it can soak through from both sides.
Then rinse with water at least twice.
And you will gt a slight odor from it for several minutes.

 

 

 

 


Feedback
Okay, I've made a little more progress.
I got the $6 cans of Coil Cleaner from Home Depot and cleaned up the coils a bit more. I'll be continuing this today.
This is as far as I've gotten so far with the right side coil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just pulled the blower out. I'll clean it and also the extra room makes it easier to clean the left side coil.
P. 1                                          P. 2                                                                            P. 3                                                                         

P. 1 This is what the HVAC inside unit looks like with the panels removed
P. 2 Shut off power at the breaker.Then disconnected the blower cabling
P. 3 Removed the two screws on each side (4 screws total) to slide the blower out


P. 1                                         P. 2                                                                              P. 3

P. 1 This is what the HVAC looks like with the blower removed
P. 2 Here's the blower outside so I can clean it
P. 3 And here's a pic of the blower blades. Very gunky/nasty

  
P. 1                                                               P. 2                                   P. 3

P. 1The blower fan was pretty dirty also. I found the weights! I made sure not to knock any of them off.                                                  
P. 2 As well as the housing it was in.
P. 3 But I cleaned it up.

P. 1                                                                                P. 2

P. 1 Here is the super clean fan. It looks ugly, but you can't do anything about discolored metal.
P. 2 The housing is clean now also. Inside & out.

P. 1                                                                                    P. 2

P. 1 Here is the finished A-Frame coils, all shiny & ready to go
P. 2 Vaccumed and wiped down the area where the blower fan goes

I had a little scare when I turned everything on and the fan wouldn't do anything. But I went back to the dozens of pics I took and noticed there were some wires that got knocked off somewhere along the line. I used the pics to put the wires back on the correct spades and everything is rockin-n-rolling now.

Quieter and already seems to have warmed up the house quicker than usual. In fact, it's off right now. And it's usually running almost constantly. But it warmed up the house quickly & turned off. sweet.

Answer
So the elephant in the room is: Do you have an air filter in the system? Do you change it regularly? What kind is it?
Also, on your coils, it looks like a good portion of your fins got bent when you were cleaning. This can restrict the airflow thru the coils and impact the system efficency.
They make a coil brush that you carefully use to re-align the fins. I dont believe it is available at any of the BOX stores.
Maybe one of the HVAC pros here will chime in on if you need to do anything.
BTW, great job being thorough and cleaning it up. Nice pictures and documentation.

Answer
Are you sure it isn't your reversing valve making the noise.
Usually if its a fan motor. It will make the noise all the time.

Feedback
No, I'm not certain. Other than consistency of noise, is there a good troubleshooting method to be certain which is the culprit?
The noise is not constant every moment the fan is on. It comes and goes. I haven't paid attention to exactly when it comes on. But when it is screetching/whining, it usually is like that for several minutes.
Btw I do use the auxiliary heat quite a bit. I hate being cold.

Answer
Sounds a bit like blow by in the compressor. Is the large line hot while its running.

Feedback
Yes, the large line is too hot to touch for more than a few moments

Answer
Check your indoor coil. Could be too dirty.

Feedback

To my inexperienced eye, it looks fine. But I don't know what to look for.
Would you recommend a foaming spray-on cleaner or mixed-solution cleaner & brush? I'll ask Home Depot on my way home from work tomorrow.

Answer
Bottom side of the coil is what you need to look at.

Feedback

I'm kind of nervous to realize just how bad that looks. The air I breath passes through this!!
I'm going to break out the shop vac right now and brush some of this off. Then I'll do the chemical cleaning next weekend as planned.

I just noticed I have a full thing of CLR (Calcium, Lime & Rust remover). Can I use this to clean the coil with?
Also have some Jomax.

Answer
CLR might eat the aluminum,don't know for sure though. A soft hair brush will get that off.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Feedback
That is some NASTY caked up stuff on the coils. The brush alone is not going to do the job without some chemical assistance. At least not without destroying the fins.

After just a minute of brushing.                                             This big piece fell right on my face.


Wow, after just a few minutes of brushing gunk off, the HVAC system is already MUCH quieter inside & outside!!
Air smells a little funny though.
Btw, this is my first house in case anyone is interested. All of this stuff is new to me.

Answer
Just spray it with water for now to loosen it up and the brush it down. 90% will come off with water alone.

Feedback
That did help quite a bit. I knocked off quite a bit of the gunk. There is still much left inside the fins, but the gunk stuck to the outside is mostly removed now.
Still getting the whining from the outdoor unit. Hopefully after I finish cleaning next weekend, the whine will go away. Or I'll start troubleshooting the next thing.

Answer
You'll find that Simplegreen will work well on that coil. And won't harm the copper or aluminum.
Spray it on both sides of the coil so it can soak through from both sides.
Then rinse with water at least twice.
And you will gt a slight odor from it for several minutes.

 

 

 

 


Feedback
Okay, I've made a little more progress.
I got the $6 cans of Coil Cleaner from Home Depot and cleaned up the coils a bit more. I'll be continuing this today.
This is as far as I've gotten so far with the right side coil.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I just pulled the blower out. I'll clean it and also the extra room makes it easier to clean the left side coil.
P. 1                                          P. 2                                                                            P. 3                                                                         

P. 1 This is what the HVAC inside unit looks like with the panels removed
P. 2 Shut off power at the breaker.Then disconnected the blower cabling
P. 3 Removed the two screws on each side (4 screws total) to slide the blower out


P. 1                                         P. 2                                                                              P. 3

P. 1 This is what the HVAC looks like with the blower removed
P. 2 Here's the blower outside so I can clean it
P. 3 And here's a pic of the blower blades. Very gunky/nasty

  
P. 1                                                               P. 2                                   P. 3

P. 1The blower fan was pretty dirty also. I found the weights! I made sure not to knock any of them off.                                                  
P. 2 As well as the housing it was in.
P. 3 But I cleaned it up.

P. 1                                                                                P. 2

P. 1 Here is the super clean fan. It looks ugly, but you can't do anything about discolored metal.
P. 2 The housing is clean now also. Inside & out.

P. 1                                                                                    P. 2

P. 1 Here is the finished A-Frame coils, all shiny & ready to go
P. 2 Vaccumed and wiped down the area where the blower fan goes

I had a little scare when I turned everything on and the fan wouldn't do anything. But I went back to the dozens of pics I took and noticed there were some wires that got knocked off somewhere along the line. I used the pics to put the wires back on the correct spades and everything is rockin-n-rolling now.

Quieter and already seems to have warmed up the house quicker than usual. In fact, it's off right now. And it's usually running almost constantly. But it warmed up the house quickly & turned off. sweet.

Answer
So the elephant in the room is: Do you have an air filter in the system? Do you change it regularly? What kind is it?
Also, on your coils, it looks like a good portion of your fins got bent when you were cleaning. This can restrict the airflow thru the coils and impact the system efficency.
They make a coil brush that you carefully use to re-align the fins. I dont believe it is available at any of the BOX stores.
Maybe one of the HVAC pros here will chime in on if you need to do anything.
BTW, great job being thorough and cleaning it up. Nice pictures and documentation.

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