Modern central air conditioning units are complex pieces of equipment that rely on several components to keep your home cool and comfortable. If you notice your unit making a “wet” sound, it can be unnerving. You may wonder if it is leaking into your home and causing water damage.
This can happen when certain components are missing or not working as intended. To quell some of your concerns – or confirm your suspicions that it is time to call an HVAC technician – these are some of the sounds often heard from air conditioners and an explanation of what they could be telling you.
If you hear dripping inside the unit, do not be overly concerned just yet. In fact, dripping is part of the air conditioning process. When activated, air conditioners pull hot air from your home, send it over evaporator coils to remove the moisture and heat and deliver cold, dry air into the room.
After moisture is removed, it drips onto a pan that drains through a pipe, referred to as the condensate drain line, into your yard, often near the outdoor condenser. If you notice louder or more frequent dripping, it could simply be due to increased water volume due to an especially humid San Antonio summer day.
In some cases, the condensate drain can become clogged with dirt, algae and other debris, causing water to overflow out of the drip pan underneath the evaporator coils. It may even leak into your home if the clog is severe. In these instances, the drain will need to be unclogged and the pan emptied to eliminate the sound and prevent further leaking.
Most condensate drains are powered by gravity or a condensate pump – the latter mechanically removes water from the unit and discharges it though the drain. If your A/C unit uses a pump and you are hearing a gurgling sound when the unit is running, it could indicate the pump is starting to fail and can no longer move water to the drain.
If you can determine the location of your pump, check to see if the gurgling is louder near that spot – if so, you should contact an HVAC technician and have the pump repaired or replaced. Allowing the pump to fail may result in water overflowing into your house or the system shutting down.
Bubbling or Hissing
It is not common to hear these sounds coming from your outdoor condenser. It often indicates the unit’s evaporator coils or refrigerant lines are suffering from a refrigerant leak.
While these sounds do not always signal an emergency, they do mean your HVAC system is not cooling at full capacity, which will reduce efficiency and increase your energy bills. Plus, if your A/C unit is not getting enough refrigerant, it will not be able to cool your home properly.
Have Your A/C Unit Inspected Today
Whether you hear a hiss, gurgle, drip or splash, it is important to address the sound by having your system inspected by a certified HVAC technician. Water sounds do not always mean your unit is failing or needs expensive repairs, but they can indicate maintenance is required soon. Whatever the case, the pros at Aramendia Plumbing, Heating & Air know exactly what your air conditioner needs to run at its best.
If you do need a new A/C unit, we offer financing and professional installation to ensure you remain cool this summer. Call 210.654.1034 or contact us online today for your free estimate.
Aramendia has been serving San Antonio
and the surrounding areas for over 29 years and we pride ourselves on the trust and reputation we have earned over that time. Our loyal customers know us as a reliable and trustworthy service company that will quickly send a highly-qualified technician to their home or office to take care of them. In August of 2017, Aramendia became part of the Service Experts family. As a Service Experts company, Aramendia will continue to serve San Antonio and the surrounding area.