Air conditioners are complicated systems that rely on numerous components, which includes 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 unusual 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 causes.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a common air conditioner sound you might hear on hot, humid days and is no reason for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is probably 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 beneath it. This pan is designed to capture and direct the condensed water clear of your home via a drain line. However, if the drain becomes clogged or compromised, 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 signal that the condensate drain line is clogged and should 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 solve the problem 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 consume water. This simply means your AC should never sound like running water. If you hear this water noise, it could be because the evaporator coil has frozen over and is now thawing and dripping water onto the ground.
This can take place for a few reasons, including:
- Dirty air filter: A filter clogged with dust, dirt and other crud limits airflow. This may lead the temperature inside the evaporator coil to get below freezing, which then freezes the condensate accumulated 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 minimal, it loses the capability to absorb the heat. This can allow the temperature to slide below freezing and ice to build up on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and dirt may accumulate on a forgotten evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant inside from absorbing heat. When this happens, the coil might freeze.
- Broken thermostat: Poor temperature calibration could cause the air conditioner to run constantly, 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 problems: The blower moves air over the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or performing 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 vital component 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. Similarly, your system could possibly gurgle because of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repairs 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 be the result of one of these malfunctions:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the location and extent of a refrigerant leak, it may generate more of a hissing noise than a gurgling or bubbling sound.
- Issues with the compressor: The compressor located in the exterior condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it flows through the AC model. This element may make a hissing noise if it becomes faulty.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that controls refrigerant movement through the compressor may also leak and hiss.
Schedule Air Conditioning Services
If you hear a sound like running water from your air conditioner, take steps to diagnose and address the cause to prevent more damage. [companyname] can detect and repair any issue 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 single AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or set up a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].