Why Is My Air Conditioner Making a Dripping Noise?

A normally functioning AC doesn’t make a sound while running. But sometimes, you might notice your air conditioner making a dripping noise from inside the unit. Although this may be a common occurrence, it may also be something that requires your concern.

How Water Works in an AC Unit

Besides stripping the excess heat, the air conditioner also strips excess moisture from your air, because damp air withstands heat better than dry air. By reducing the humidity, your indoor air can get cooler and stay like that for a longer period of time. Humid cool air can also cause problems in your house because it can trigger mold growth.

The absorbed moisture will then turn into water as it cools off in the condensate coils. Eventually, the water will accumulate and flow to the drain pan below the coils. It then continues to fall down the drain line and gets sent out of the house. The whole process, if it runs smoothly, will not result in any dripping noises.

What Causes a Dripping Noise in an AC Unit?

There are a variety of possibilities of why your AC unit is making a dripping noise, such as:

  • Problematic Condensate Drain

If your condensate drain is dirty, broken, or clogged, it won’t function well. The water won’t be able to flow smoothly, making it drip little by little. Your drain line is the first part to check when you notice that your AC is making a dripping noise. If something is wrong, you need to treat it immediately.

  • Evaporation Process

Excess moisture absorbed by your AC is supposed to partially evaporate. During the evaporation process, it is normal to hear the sounds of water dripping. There is no need to open the unit to take out water. It is fine to let it be, as long as you don’t see water dripping off of your indoor unit.

  • High Water Feed

Sometimes high humidity makes the moisture build up too quickly for the drainage on your AC unit to contain. You may see the flow of water increase at the end of the drain line. If this is what happens with your AC, then there is nothing to worry about. However, you might want to contact your technician for inspection if the flow increase is too significant.

  • Frozen Coils

Another possible explanation for a dripping noise is that your AC is indeed dripping water. It usually happens on the coils. Most likely, the coil is freezing up and the water dripping is the ice that has melted. Many things may cause the coils to freeze. Whatever the culprit, a frozen coil requires treatment as soon as possible.

The dripping noise in your AC unit might be concerning. Even so, most of the time, you don’t need to panic or worry too much about it. However, if you see that water is flowing out of other parts besides the drain line, you might need to take immediate action. Call a professional to get the proper treatment for your AC.

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