Air conditioners are complex 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 strong 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 worrying noises can be traced back to several origins.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is an often reported air conditioner sound you may hear on hot, humid days and is no cause for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is probably the cause of the sound. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the inside air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath it. This pan is meant to capture and move the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line. However, if the drain becomes blocked 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 remove the water.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a indication that the condensate drain line is plugged and needs to 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 break. Plus, if your AC keeps turning itself off because of a full drain pan, you’ll need to solve 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 utilize water. This simply means your AC shouldn't 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 plugged with dust, dirt and other crud restricts airflow. This may lead the temperature inside the evaporator coil to drop below freezing, which then freezes the condensate gathered on the coil.
- Low refrigerant level: Chilled refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air as it goes through the evaporator coil. If the air conditioner is undercharged or leaky and the refrigerant level is not high enough, it loses the ability 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 inside of it from absorbing heat. When this occurs, the coil may possibly freeze.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: Poor temperature calibration could cause the air conditioner to run constantly, even when the indoor temperature is already at the correct degree. Continuously running an air conditioner can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes up.
- Blower problems: The blower circulates air across the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working right or performing at a low speed, the lack of airflow may 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 has formed or air comes to be caught in the refrigerant line, you might hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Similarly, your system may gurgle due to overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repair work to a professional who can ensure the right refrigerant charge.
4. The AC Makes a Hissing Noise
A hissing noise from your air conditioner could be the result of one of these issues:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the location and seriousness of a refrigerant leak, it may generate more of a hissing noise than a gurgling or bubbling sound.
- An issue with with the compressor: The compressor located in the outdoor condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it moves through the air conditioner. This element may make a hissing noise if it becomes faulty.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that manages refrigerant flow 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 avoid more damage. [companyname] can diagnose and service 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. Every single AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or schedule a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].