Air conditioners are complex systems that rely on several parts, 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 unusual 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 worrisome noises can be traced back to several origins.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a frequent 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 functions, moisture from the indoor air gathers on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath it. 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 down below. If the dripping noise becomes an annoyance, find the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and empty it.
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 not work properly. 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 operate normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners produce 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 could indicate 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 particles limits airflow. This may lead 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 moves through the evaporator coil. If the network is undercharged or seeping out 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 grime may coat a neglected evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant inside it from absorbing heat. When this takes place, the coil may freeze.
- Broken thermostat: Poor temperature calibration might 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 troubles: The blower forces air over the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working correctly or running at a low speed, the low level of airflow can 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 forms or air has become trapped in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Along those same lines, your system may gurgle due to 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 indicate one of these malfunctions:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the place and seriousness of a refrigerant leak, it may produce 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 manages refrigerant movement 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 detect and service any concern 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 AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or schedule a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].