Air conditioners are complicated systems that rely on numerous components, which includes 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 unheard of 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 worrisome noises can be attributed to several sources.
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 reason for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is likely the cause of the sound. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the interior air gathers on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath it. This pan is designed to collect and direct the condensed water a safe distance away from your home via a drain line. Then again, if the drain becomes plugged or broken, 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, find the drain pan under the indoor portion of your air conditioner and empty it.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a signal that the condensate drain line is blocked and should be cleared. A float switch should automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and produces 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 need to correct the issue before your unit will run normally again.
2. The AC Sounds Like Water Is Running
While air conditioners make condensate during the cooling process, they do not run on or consume water. This simply means your AC shouldn't sound like running water. If you hear this sound, it could 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 blocks 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 leaky and the refrigerant level is not high enough, it loses the ability to absorb the heat. This can allow the temperature to drop below freezing and ice to form on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and dirt may build up on a forgotten evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and stopping the refrigerant within it from absorbing heat. When this occurs, the coil may possibly freeze.
- Malfunctioning thermostat: Poor temperature calibration might cause the air conditioner to run constantly, even when the indoor temperature is already at the ideal level. Constant operation can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes completely.
- Blower problems: The blower circulates air over the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working right or running 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 part of the cooling process. If a leak forms or air comes to be stuck in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Along those same lines, your system could very well gurgle because of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repair 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 site and extent of a refrigerant leak, it may produce 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 flows through the air conditioner. This element may make a hissing noise if it becomes defective.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that regulates refrigerant circulation 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 determine and address the cause to prevent further damage. [companyname] can detect and service 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].