Air conditioners are complicated systems that rely on several parts, such as a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant to regulate your home’s temperature and humidity level. While these machines are generally robust and reliable, it’s not unusual for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is wrong. One of these sounds is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These distressing noises can be linked to several origins.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a common air conditioner sound you may hear on hot, humid days and is no cause for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is probably the cause of the sound. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the inside air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath. This pan is designed to capture and funnel the condensed water clear of your home via a drain line. Although, if the drain becomes clogged or compromised, 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 too irritating, identify the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and empty it.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a indication that the condensate drain line is plugged and should be cleared. A float switch should 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 have to correct the problem before your unit will operate normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners create condensate as a part of the cooling process, they do not run on or utilize water. This simply means your AC should not ever sound like running water. If you hear this water noise, it might indicate the evaporator coil has frozen over and is now thawing and dripping water onto the ground.
This can take place for a few reasons, including:
- Dirty air filter: A filter choked with dust, dirt and other crud limits airflow. This may lead the temperature inside the evaporator coil to fall 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 leaking and the refrigerant level is not high enough, it loses the capacity to absorb the heat. This can cause the temperature to drop below freezing and ice to build up on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grime may build up on a forgotten evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant inside from absorbing heat. When this occurs, the coil may possibly freeze.
- Broken thermostat: Poor temperature calibration could cause the air conditioner to run continually, even when the indoor temperature is already at the correct number. Constant running of an AC unit can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes completely.
- Blower problems: The blower moves air across the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working right or operating at a low speed, the lack of sufficient airflow may 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 stuck in the refrigerant line, you might hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Along those same lines, your system could possibly gurgle due to overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repair work 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 signify one of these issues:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the place and severity of a refrigerant leak, it may generate more of a hissing noise than a gurgling or bubbling sound.
- Issues with the compressor: The compressor located in the exterior condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it moves through the AC model. This component may make a hissing noise if it becomes defective.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that regulates refrigerant flow throughout 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 determine and address the cause to avoid more damage. [companyname] can diagnose and fix any concern causing your AC to sound like running water, whether that’s condensation buildup, a refrigerant leak, a stopped up drain line or a frozen evaporator coil. Every single AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or request a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].