Air conditioners are complicated systems that rely on numerous 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 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 worrisome noises can be attributed 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 most likely to blame. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the indoor air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath. This pan is meant to capture and move the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line. Although, if the drain becomes clogged or compromised, water can accumulate in the pan, leading to a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool below. If the dripping noise becomes too irritating, find 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 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 need to solve the issue before your unit will function normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners make condensate during the cooling process, they do not run on or use water. This means your AC should never sound like running water. If you hear this noise, it could mean 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 crud restricts airflow. This may make 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 goes 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 fall below freezing and ice to develop on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grease may accumulate on an ignored evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and stopping the refrigerant inside it from absorbing heat. When this occurs, the coil may possibly freeze.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: Poor temperature calibration might cause the air conditioner to run continuously, even when the indoor temperature is already at the desired number. Constant operation can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes over.
- Blower issues: The blower circulates air over the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively 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 vital part of the cooling process. If a leak has formed or air comes to be caught in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Along those same lines, your system could possibly gurgle because of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repairs 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 indicate one of these malfunctions:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the site and severity 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 moves through the air conditioner. This part of the system may make a hissing noise if it becomes faulty.
- 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 similar to running water from your air conditioner, take steps to determine and address the cause to stop further damage. [companyname] can identify and fix any issue 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 request a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].