Air conditioners are complex systems that rely on numerous components, including 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 unheard of for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is awry. One such sound is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These distressing noises can be linked to several sources.
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 likely the cause of the sound. As your air conditioner operates, moisture from the indoor air accumulates on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan underneath. This pan is meant to collect and funnel the condensed water away from your home via a drain line. However, if the drain becomes plugged 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 too irritating, locate the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and clear it.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a indication that the condensate drain line is plugged and must 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 be forced to correct the drain pan issue before your unit will operate normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners create condensate as a part of the cooling process, they do not run on or consume water. This simply means your AC should never sound like running water. If you hear this noise, it could indicate 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 clogged 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 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 low, it loses the capability to absorb the heat. This can allow the temperature to fall below freezing and ice to build up on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and dirt may coat a forgotten evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and stopping the refrigerant inside from absorbing heat. When this takes place, the coil could freeze.
- Failing thermostat: Poor temperature calibration could cause the air conditioner to run continually, even when the indoor temperature is already at the desired level. Constant running of an AC unit can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes up.
- Blower issues: The blower moves air across the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively 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 critical part of the cooling process. If a leak has developed or air comes to be stuck in the refrigerant line, you might hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Additionally, your system could possibly gurgle as a result of 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 signify one of these problems:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the location and extent of a refrigerant leak, it may create 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 AC model. This component may make a hissing noise if it becomes defective.
- 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 such as running water from your air conditioner, take steps to determine and address the cause to prevent more damage. [companyname] can detect 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. Each and every AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or set up a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].