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 usually sturdy and reliable, it’s not uncommon for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is wrong. One example of a sound is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These worrying noises can be attributed to several sources.
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 for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is likely the culprit. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the indoor air accumulates on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan underneath. This pan is meant to catch and move the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line. Although, if the drain becomes plugged or compromised, water can accumulate in the pan, leading to a dripping or splashing noise as freshly collected condensate drips into the pool below. If the dripping noise becomes too irritating, find the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and empty it.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a warning sign that the condensate drain line is plugged and must 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 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 function 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 should not ever sound like running water. If you hear this noise, it could indicate the evaporator coil has frozen over and is now thawing and dripping water onto the ground.
This can take place for a few reasons, including:
- Dirty air filter: A filter plugged with dust, dirt and other debris limits airflow. This may make the temperature inside the evaporator coil to fall below freezing, which then freezes the condensate collected 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 leaking and the refrigerant level is not high enough, it loses the ability to absorb the heat. This can allow the temperature to slide below freezing and ice to build up on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and dirt may accumulate on an ignored 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 continuously, even when the indoor temperature is already at the desired degree. Continuously running an air conditioner can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes up.
- Blower issues: The blower forces air through the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or running 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 element of the cooling process. If a leak has developed or air comes to be stuck in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Similarly, your system could possibly gurgle due to overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC service work to a professional who can ensure the proper refrigerant charge.
4. The AC Makes a Hissing Noise
A hissing noise from your air conditioner could be the result of 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.
- An issue with with the compressor: The compressor located in the outdoor condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it passes through the AC model. This element may make a hissing noise if it gets damaged.
- 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 like running water from your air conditioner, take steps to identify and address the cause to prevent more damage. [companyname] can diagnose and repair any issue 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].