Air conditioners are complex systems that rely on various components, including 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 uncommon 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 attributed to several causes.
This is a common air conditioner sound you might hear on hot, humid days and is no cause for alarm. Simple condensation buildup is most likely to blame. As your air conditioner operates, moisture from the indoor air collects on the evaporator coil and drips into the drain pan underneath. This pan is designed to catch and funnel the condensed water away from your home via a drain line.
However, if the drain becomes clogged or damaged, 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 empty it.
Also, take AC dripping sounds as a warning sign that the condensate drain line is clogged and needs to be cleared. A float switch should automatically shut off your conditioner before the drain pan overflows and causes 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 fix the problem before your unit will operate normally again.
While air conditioners produce condensate as a part of the cooling process, they do not run on or consume water. This means your AC should never sound like running water. If you hear this noise, it could 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:
Refrigerant is a crucial ingredient in the cooling process. If a leak has developed or air has become trapped in the refrigerant line, you may hear gurgling or bubbling as the refrigerant flows. Similarly, your system may gurgle due to overcharged refrigerant. Always leave AC repairs to a professional who can ensure the proper refrigerant charge.
A hissing noise from your air conditioner could indicate one of these problems:
If you hear a sound like running water from your air conditioner, take steps to identify and address the cause to prevent further damage. Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing can diagnose and repair 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 request a repair estimate, please contact Service Experts Heating, Air Conditioning & Plumbing.
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