Air conditioners are complicated 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 typically robust 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 worrying noises can be linked to several sources.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is a frequent air conditioner sound you may hear on hot, humid days and is no reason for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is likely to blame. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the interior air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath. This pan is meant to collect and direct the condensed water clear of 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 a nuisance, locate the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and clear it.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a warning sign that the condensate drain line is clogged and must be cleared. A float switch should automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and creates water damage, but the float switch could always not work properly. 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 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. This simply means your AC should not ever sound like running water. If you hear this sound, it may 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 particles blocks airflow. This may lead the temperature inside the evaporator coil to get 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 system is undercharged or seeping out and the refrigerant level is minimal, it loses the ability to absorb the heat. This can allow the temperature to fall below freezing and ice to develop on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and dirt may accumulate on an ignored evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and preventing the refrigerant within it from absorbing heat. When this happens, the coil might freeze.
- Failing thermostat: Poor temperature calibration might cause the air conditioner to run continually, 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 up.
- Blower problems: The blower moves air across the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or running at a low speed, the low level of airflow may freeze the evaporator coil.
3. The AC Makes a Gurgling or Bubbling Sound
Refrigerant is a vital component of the cooling process. If a leak forms or air has become trapped in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Along those same lines, your system could possibly gurgle because of 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 malfunctions:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the place and extent of a refrigerant leak, it may produce more of a hissing noise than a gurgling or bubbling sound.
- Problem with the compressor: The compressor located in the exterior condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it flows through the system. This component may make a hissing noise if it becomes faulty.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that regulates refrigerant movement through 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 stop more 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].