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 sturdy and reliable, it’s not uncommon for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is awry. One example of a sound is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These worrisome noises can be linked to several causes.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a frequent air conditioner sound you might hear on hot, humid days and is no reason for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is probably to blame. 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 meant to capture and direct the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line. Although, if the drain becomes clogged or damaged, water can accumulate in the pan, resulting in a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool down below. If the dripping noise becomes an annoyance, 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 must be cleared. A float switch is supposed to automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and produces 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 fix the drain pan issue before your unit will function normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners produce condensate as a component of the cooling process, they do not run on or consume water. What this means is your AC shouldn't sound like running water. If you hear this noise, it might 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 blocks airflow. This may lead 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 air conditioner is undercharged or leaking and the refrigerant level is not high enough, it loses the ability to absorb the heat. This can make the temperature to drop below freezing and ice to build up on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grime may accumulate on a forgotten evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and stopping the refrigerant inside it from absorbing heat. When this takes place, the coil may freeze.
- Failing thermostat: Poor temperature calibration may cause the air conditioner to run constantly, even when the indoor temperature is already at the desired number. Constant operation can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes completely.
- Blower issues: The blower moves air over the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working right or operating 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 critical element of the cooling process. If a leak forms or air gets trapped in the refrigerant line, you can hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Along those same lines, your system could very well gurgle because of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repair 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 signify one of these problems:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the place and extent of a refrigerant leak, it may create more of a hissing noise than a gurgling or bubbling sound.
- Problem with the compressor: The compressor located in the outdoor condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it flows through the AC model. This element may make a hissing noise if it is damaged.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that regulates refrigerant circulation within 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 diagnose and address the cause to avoid further damage. [companyname] can detect and fix any concern causing your AC to sound like running water, whether that’s condensation buildup, a refrigerant leak, a plugged drain line or a frozen evaporator coil. Each and every AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or schedule a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].