Air conditioners are sophisticated systems that rely on several elements, including 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 unusual for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is amiss. One example of a 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 may hear on hot, humid days and is no reason for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is most likely the culprit. As your air conditioner operates, moisture from the inside air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath it. This pan was created to capture and funnel the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line. Then again, if the drain becomes blocked or compromised, water can accumulate in the pan, resulting in a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool underneath. If the dripping noise becomes an annoyance, identify the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and empty it.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a indication that the condensate drain line is blocked and must 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 have to fix the drain pan issue before your unit will operate normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners produce condensate during the cooling process, they do not run on or consume water. This means your AC shouldn't sound like running water. If you hear this water noise, it might indicate the evaporator coil has frozen over and is now thawing and dripping water onto the ground.
This can develop for a few reasons, including:
- Dirty air filter: A filter plugged with dust, dirt and other crud restricts airflow. This may make the temperature inside the evaporator coil to get 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 system is undercharged or seeping out and the refrigerant level is minimal, it loses the capacity to absorb the heat. This can make the temperature to fall below freezing and ice to form on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and dirt may build up on a neglected evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant inside it from absorbing heat. When this takes place, the coil may possibly freeze.
- Failing thermostat: Poor temperature calibration could cause the air conditioner to run continually, even when the indoor temperature is already at the desired number. Continuously running an air conditioner can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes up.
- Blower troubles: The blower circulates air through the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working correctly or operating 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 critical component of 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 could possibly gurgle due to overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repair work to a professional who can make sure the correct 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 location and extent 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 outside condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it passes through the system. This component may make a hissing noise if it is defective.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that manages refrigerant flow within 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 identify and service any malfunction 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. Every single AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or request a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].