Air conditioners are sophisticated systems that rely on numerous components, which includes a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant to regulate your home’s temperature and humidity level. While these machines are generally strong and reliable, it’s not unusual for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is wrong. One such sound is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These worrying noises can be attributed to several origins.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a frequent air conditioner sound you may hear on hot, humid days and is no reason for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is likely to blame. As your air conditioner performs, moisture from the indoor air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan underneath. This pan was created to capture and direct the condensed water away from your home via a drain line. However, if the drain becomes clogged or broken, water can accumulate in the pan, leading to a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool down below. If the dripping noise becomes a nuisance, find the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and remove the water.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a indication that the condensate drain line is clogged and should be cleared. A float switch is supposed to automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and creates water damage, but the float switch could always break. Plus, if your AC keeps turning itself off because of a full drain pan, you’ll need to correct the problem before your unit will run normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners make condensate during the cooling process, they do not run on or consume water. This means your AC should not ever sound like running water. If you hear this sound, it might mean the evaporator coil has frozen over and is now thawing and dripping water onto the ground.
This can happen for a few reasons, including:
- Dirty air filter: A filter clogged with dust, dirt and other crud limits airflow. This may make the temperature inside the evaporator coil to get below freezing, which then freezes the condensate collected on the coil.
- Low refrigerant level: Chilled refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air as it goes through the evaporator coil. If the network is undercharged or seeping out and the refrigerant level is low, it loses the capability to absorb the heat. This can allow the temperature to slide below freezing and ice to form on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grime may build up on a forgotten evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and blocking the refrigerant inside from absorbing heat. When this occurs, the coil may freeze.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: Poor temperature calibration could cause the air conditioner to run constantly, even when the indoor temperature is already at the ideal number. Constant running of an AC unit can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes up.
- Blower issues: The blower circulates air through the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or running at a low speed, the lack of airflow could freeze the evaporator coil.
3. The AC Makes a Gurgling or Bubbling Sound
Refrigerant is a crucial part of the cooling process. If a leak forms or air gets caught in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Similarly, your system may gurgle due to overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repairs to a professional who can make sure the proper refrigerant charge.
4. The AC Makes a Hissing Noise
A hissing noise from your air conditioner could indicate one of these malfunctions:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the place and severity of a refrigerant leak, it may produce more of a hissing noise than a gurgling or bubbling sound.
- Problem with the compressor: The compressor located in the outside condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it passes through the air conditioner. This part of the system may make a hissing noise if it becomes faulty.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that controls refrigerant movement within the compressor may also leak and hiss.
Schedule Air Conditioning Services
If you hear a sound similar to running water from your air conditioner, take steps to diagnose and address the cause to avoid additional damage. [companyname] can detect and fix any concern causing your AC to sound like running water, whether that’s condensation buildup, a refrigerant leak, a plugged drain line or a frozen evaporator coil. Every AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or request a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].