Air conditioners are complex systems that rely on numerous elements, 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 unheard of for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is wrong. 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 common air conditioner sound you could hear on hot, humid days and is no reason you should be alarmed. Simple condensation buildup is probably to blame. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the inside air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath. This pan is meant to collect and move the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line. However, if the drain becomes plugged or damaged, water can accumulate in the pan, producing a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool down below. If the dripping noise becomes a nuisance, locate 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 plugged and should be cleared. A float switch ought to automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and creates 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 issue before your unit will operate normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners create condensate during the cooling process, they do not run on or use water. This means your AC shouldn't sound like running water. If you hear this sound, 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 plugged with dust, dirt and other debris restricts airflow. This may cause 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 network is undercharged or seeping out and the refrigerant level is minimal, it loses the capacity to absorb the heat. This can allow the temperature to slide below freezing and ice to form on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grime may coat an ignored evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant inside from absorbing heat. When this occurs, the coil could freeze.
- Broken thermostat: Poor temperature calibration could cause the air conditioner to run constantly, even when the indoor temperature is already at the desired level. Constant running of an AC unit can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes over.
- Blower issues: The blower circulates air through the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or performing at a low speed, the lack of airflow could 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 gets trapped in the refrigerant line, you might hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Additionally, 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 indicate one of these problems:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the place and severity 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 passes through the air conditioner. This part of the system may make a hissing noise if it gets defective.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that manages refrigerant movement throughout 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 repair 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. 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].