Air conditioners are sophisticated systems that rely on various parts, 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 unheard of for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is amiss. One such sound is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These worrying noises can be traced back to several causes.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is an often reported air conditioner sound you could hear on hot, humid days and is no cause for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is most likely to blame. As your air conditioner performs, moisture from the indoor air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath. This pan is designed 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 broken, 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 too irritating, find the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and remove the water.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a warning sign that the condensate drain line is blocked and needs to 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 need to solve the problem 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 consume water. This means your AC shouldn't sound like running water. If you hear this water noise, it might mean 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 limits airflow. This may cause the temperature inside the evaporator coil to drop below freezing, which then freezes the condensate accumulated on the coil.
- Low refrigerant level: Chilled refrigerant absorbs heat from the indoor air as it passes through the evaporator coil. If the network 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 slide below freezing and ice to form on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and grime may build up on an ignored evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and blocking the refrigerant inside from absorbing heat. When this takes place, the coil may freeze.
- Broken thermostat: Poor temperature calibration could cause the air conditioner to run constantly, even when the indoor temperature is already at the ideal number. Continuously running an air conditioner can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes over.
- Blower troubles: The blower circulates air over the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or operating 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 ingredient in the cooling process. If a leak forms or air gets stuck in the refrigerant line, you might hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Additionally, your system may gurgle because of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC service work to a professional who can make sure the right 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 place and extent of a refrigerant leak, it may generate 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 element may make a hissing noise if it becomes faulty.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that regulates 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 avoid more damage. [companyname] can detect and fix any issue 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 AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or schedule a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].