Why Does My Air Conditioner Sound Like Running Water?
Air conditioners are complicated systems that rely on various parts, 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 uncommon for AC units to make strange sounds, which may indicate that something is wrong. One such sound is dripping, gurgling, bubbling or running water. These distressing noises can be linked to several sources.
1. The AC Makes a Dripping Noise
This is an often reported air conditioner sound you might hear on hot, humid days and is no reason you should be alarmed. Simple condensation buildup is likely the cause of the sound. As your air conditioner functions, moisture from the interior air accumulates on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan beneath it. This pan is meant to catch and funnel the condensed water clear of your home via a drain line. Although, if the drain becomes blocked or compromised, water can accumulate in the pan, producing 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 clear it.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a indication that the condensate drain line is blocked and should be cleared. A float switch is supposed to 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 be forced to correct the issue before your unit will run 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. What this means is your AC should not ever 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 take place for a few reasons, including:
- Dirty air filter: A filter choked with dust, dirt and other crud blocks airflow. This may lead 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 goes through the evaporator coil. If the network is undercharged or seeping out and the refrigerant level is minimal, it loses the capability to absorb the heat. This can make the temperature to fall below freezing and ice to build up on the coil.
- Dirty evaporator coil: Dust and dirt may build up on an ignored evaporator coil, effectively insulating it and stopping the refrigerant inside from absorbing heat. When this happens, the coil may possibly freeze.
- Broken thermostat: Poor temperature calibration may cause the air conditioner to run continually, even when the indoor temperature is already at the ideal number. Constant operation can make the evaporator coil so cold that it freezes completely.
- Blower problems: The blower circulates air through the evaporator coil. If it isn’t working effectively or performing at a low speed, the low level of airflow could 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 gets trapped in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Along those same lines, your system may gurgle because of overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repair work to a professional who can verify the proper refrigerant charge.
4. The AC Makes a Hissing Noise
A hissing noise from your air conditioner could signify one of these malfunctions:
- Refrigerant leaks: Depending on the location and severity 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 outside condensing unit pressurizes the refrigerant as it moves through the AC model. This element may make a hissing noise if it becomes faulty.
- Internal valve leak: The valve that regulates refrigerant flow through the compressor may also leak and hiss.
Schedule Air Conditioning Services
If you hear a sound similar to running water from your air conditioner, take steps to determine and address the cause to stop further damage. [companyname] can diagnose and service any malfunction 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. Every single AC repair comes with a one-year 100% satisfaction guarantee! To learn more or set up a repair estimate, please contact [companyname].