Air conditioners are complicated systems that rely on many different components, including a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant to regulate your home’s temperature and humidity level. While these machines are usually 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 causes.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a common air conditioner sound you could hear on hot, humid days and is no cause for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is most likely to blame. As your air conditioner operates, moisture from the interior air accumulates on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan underneath. This pan is meant to capture and move the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line. However, if the drain becomes clogged or damaged, water can accumulate in the pan, resulting in a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool down 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 indication that the condensate drain line is plugged and should be cleared. A float switch ought to automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and produces 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 be forced to solve the issue before your unit will operate normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners make condensate as a part of the cooling process, they do not run on or consume water. This simply 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 develop for a few reasons, including:
- Dirty air filter: A filter plugged with dust, dirt and other crud restricts airflow. This may cause 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 passes through the evaporator coil. If the network is undercharged or leaking and the refrigerant level is minimal, it loses the ability to absorb the heat. This can allow the temperature to drop below freezing and ice to form on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grease may build up on a forgotten evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant inside it from absorbing heat. When this happens, the coil may possibly freeze.
- Failing thermostat: Poor temperature calibration may cause the air conditioner to run constantly, even when the indoor temperature is already at the ideal number. Constant operation can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes over.
- Blower troubles: The blower moves air across the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working correctly or running at a low speed, the low level of airflow may freeze the evaporator coil.
3. The AC Makes a Gurgling or Bubbling Sound
Refrigerant is a critical component of the cooling process. If a leak has formed or air gets trapped in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Along those same lines, your system could possibly gurgle because of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repair work to a professional who can verify the right refrigerant charge.
4. The AC Makes a Hissing Noise
A hissing noise from your air conditioner could indicate one of these problems:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the place and extent 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 outdoor condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it passes through the air conditioner. This element may make a hissing noise if it becomes damaged.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that regulates refrigerant movement through the compressor may also leak and hiss.
Schedule Air Conditioning Services
If you hear a sound such as running water from your air conditioner, take steps to identify and address the cause to prevent further damage. [companyname] can diagnose and fix 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. Every AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or schedule a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].