Air conditioners are complex systems that rely on several elements, such as 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 uncommon for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is amiss. One example of a sound is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These distressing noises can be attributed to several origins.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a frequent air conditioner sound you might hear on hot, humid days and is no cause for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is most likely the cause of the sound. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the inside air gathers on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath it. This pan is designed to capture and direct the condensed water clear of your home via a drain line. Then again, if the drain becomes plugged or compromised, water can accumulate in the pan, producing a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool underneath. If the dripping noise becomes an annoyance, locate the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and clear it.
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 have to correct the drain pan issue before your unit will run 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 simply 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 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 seeping out and the refrigerant level is minimal, it loses the capability to absorb the heat. This can cause the temperature to drop below freezing and ice to develop on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grease may coat an ignored evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and blocking the refrigerant inside it from absorbing heat. When this occurs, the coil could freeze.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: Poor temperature calibration might cause the air conditioner to run continually, even when the indoor temperature is already at the ideal degree. Constant operation can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes completely.
- Blower issues: The blower forces air through the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working right or running at a low speed, the lack of airflow can freeze the evaporator coil.
3. The AC Makes a Gurgling or Bubbling Sound
Refrigerant is a crucial component of the cooling process. If a leak has formed or air gets stuck in the refrigerant line, you might hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Additionally, your system may gurgle as a result of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC service work to a professional who can ensure 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 severity of a refrigerant leak, it may create more of a hissing noise than a gurgling or bubbling sound.
- An issue with with the compressor: The compressor located in the exterior condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it moves through the system. This part of the system may make a hissing noise if it is damaged.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that controls refrigerant flow through 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 additional damage. [companyname] can diagnose and repair 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 request a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].