Air conditioners are sophisticated systems that rely on various elements, including a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant to regulate your home’s temperature and humidity level. While these machines are usually sturdy and reliable, it’s not unheard of for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is amiss. One of these sounds is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These worrying noises can be linked to several causes.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a common air conditioner sound you might hear on hot, humid days and is no cause for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is probably the culprit. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the indoor air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan underneath. This pan is meant to capture and funnel 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, producing a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool 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 signal that the condensate drain line is plugged and must be cleared. A float switch ought to automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and causes water damage, but the float switch could always fail. Plus, if your AC keeps turning itself off because of a full drain pan, you’ll be forced to correct the problem before your unit will function normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners create condensate as a component of the cooling process, they do not run on or utilize water. This means your AC should not ever sound like running water. If you hear this noise, it might be because 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 plugged with dust, dirt and other debris restricts airflow. This may cause the temperature inside the evaporator coil to fall below freezing, which then freezes the condensate accumulated on the coil.
- Low refrigerant level: Chilled refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air as it passes through the evaporator coil. If the system is undercharged or leaking and the refrigerant level is low, it loses the capacity to absorb the heat. This can make the temperature to drop below freezing and ice to form on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grease may accumulate on an ignored evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant inside of it from absorbing heat. When this takes place, the coil might 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 operation can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes over.
- Blower issues: The blower moves air across the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working correctly or performing at a low speed, the lack of sufficient airflow could freeze the evaporator coil.
3. The AC Makes a Gurgling or Bubbling Sound
Refrigerant is a vital element of the cooling process. If a leak has formed or air comes to be trapped in the refrigerant line, you can hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Along those same lines, your system could very well gurgle as a result of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repair 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 indicate one of these issues:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the site 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 outdoor condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it passes through the system. This component may make a hissing noise if it becomes damaged.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that regulates refrigerant movement throughout the compressor may also leak and hiss.
Schedule Air Conditioning Services
If you hear a sound like running water from your air conditioner, take steps to determine and address the cause to stop further damage. [companyname] can diagnose and repair any malfunction causing your AC to sound like running water, whether that’s condensation buildup, a refrigerant leak, a clogged 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].