Air conditioners are sophisticated systems that rely on many different components, including a compressor, evaporator coil, condenser coil and refrigerant to regulate your home’s temperature and humidity level. While these machines are generally sturdy and reliable, it’s not uncommon 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 attributed 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 performs, moisture from the inside air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath. This pan is designed to capture and move the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line. Then again, if the drain becomes blocked or broken, 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 a nuisance, identify 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 blocked and needs to 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 break. 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 produce condensate as a part 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 water 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 choked with dust, dirt and other debris blocks airflow. This may make the temperature inside the evaporator coil to get below freezing, which then freezes the condensate gathered 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 capacity to absorb the heat. This can cause the temperature to slide below freezing and ice to build up on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grime may coat a forgotten evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant within it from absorbing heat. When this takes place, the coil could freeze.
- Failing thermostat: Poor temperature calibration may cause the air conditioner to run continuously, even when the indoor temperature is already at the ideal number. Constant running of an AC unit can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes up.
- Blower issues: The blower circulates air across the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or running at a low speed, the low level of airflow could freeze the evaporator coil.
3. The AC Makes a Gurgling or Bubbling Sound
Refrigerant is a critical ingredient in the cooling process. If a leak has developed or air has become stuck in the refrigerant line, you may 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 service 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 be the result of one of these problems:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the location and seriousness 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 outside condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it flows through the AC model. This component may make a hissing noise if it is defective.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that controls refrigerant circulation through 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 identify and address the cause to stop additional damage. [companyname] can identify and service any concern 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. 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].