Air conditioners are sophisticated systems that rely on numerous components, including a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant to regulate your home’s temperature and humidity level. While these machines are usually strong and reliable, it’s not unheard of for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is awry. One of these sounds is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These distressing noises can be linked to several sources.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is an often reported air conditioner sound you may hear on hot, humid days and is no reason for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is most likely the cause of the sound. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the interior air gathers on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan underneath. This pan is meant to collect and funnel the condensed water away from your home via a drain line. However, if the drain becomes plugged or compromised, water can accumulate in the pan, resulting in a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool below. If the dripping noise becomes an annoyance, find the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and remove the water.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a warning sign that the condensate drain line is plugged and needs to be cleared. A float switch ought to automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and creates water damage, but the float switch could always not work properly. Plus, if your AC keeps turning itself off because of a full drain pan, you’ll need to solve the drain pan issue before your unit will run normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners make condensate as a component of the cooling process, they do not run on or utilize water. This means your AC should never sound like running water. If you hear this water noise, it might be because the evaporator coil has frozen over and is now thawing and dripping water onto the ground.
This can develop for a few reasons, including:
- Dirty air filter: A filter clogged with dust, dirt and other particles blocks airflow. This may make the temperature inside the evaporator coil to drop below freezing, which then freezes the condensate gathered 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 leaky and the refrigerant level is not high enough, it loses the capability to absorb the heat. This can cause the temperature to slide below freezing and ice to develop on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and dirt may accumulate on an ignored evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant within it from absorbing heat. When this happens, the coil may freeze.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: Poor temperature calibration could cause the air conditioner to run continuously, even when the indoor temperature is already at the ideal degree. Constant operation can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes up.
- Blower problems: The blower circulates air across the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or performing 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 vital ingredient in the cooling process. If a leak has formed or air gets stuck in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Additionally, your system could very well gurgle as a result of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC service work to a professional who can ensure the correct 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 site and extent of a refrigerant leak, it may generate more of a hissing noise than a gurgling or bubbling sound.
- An issue with with the compressor: The compressor located in the outdoor condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it flows through the AC model. This element may make a hissing noise if it becomes faulty.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that regulates refrigerant circulation 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 diagnose and address the cause to prevent further damage. [companyname] can identify and service any issue 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. Each and every AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or schedule a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].