Air conditioners are sophisticated systems that rely on several parts, which includes a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant to regulate your home’s temperature and humidity level. While these machines are typically strong and reliable, it’s not uncommon 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 worrying noises can be traced back to several sources.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a common air conditioner sound you may hear on hot, humid days and is no reason you should be alarmed. Simple condensation buildup is probably 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 catch and move the condensed water clear of your home via a drain line. Then again, if the drain becomes blocked or damaged, water can accumulate in the pan, leading to a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool underneath. If the dripping noise becomes too irritating, locate the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and clear it.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a warning sign that the condensate drain line is clogged and needs to be cleared. A float switch is supposed to automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and causes 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 fix the issue before your unit will operate 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 use water. What this means is 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 choked with dust, dirt and other crud restricts airflow. This may cause 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 moves 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 drop below freezing and ice to build up on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grime may coat an ignored evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and blocking the refrigerant within it from absorbing heat. When this takes place, the coil may possibly freeze.
- Broken thermostat: Poor temperature calibration may cause the air conditioner to run constantly, even when the indoor temperature is already at the desired number. Constant operation can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes completely.
- Blower issues: The blower circulates air through the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively 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 ingredient in the cooling process. If a leak has formed or air comes to be stuck in the refrigerant line, you may 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 location and extent of a refrigerant leak, it may generate 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 flows through the AC model. This component may make a hissing noise if it is damaged.
- 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 such as running water from your air conditioner, take steps to determine and address the cause to prevent additional damage. [companyname] can diagnose and fix any malfunction 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].