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The A/C Guy of Tampa Bay Inc. Blog

Why Is My Air Conditioner Making a Dripping Sound?


During normal operation, your air conditioner will definitely make noise. But the sounds you hear should be steady and consistent. The compressor will hum and the fan will whirr. Any other sounds, especially anything loud or sudden, are definitely cause for concern. When you notice an out-of-the-ordinary sound coming from your air conditioner, it’s time for AC repair.

But what about the sound of dripping? It’s not sudden, loud, or alarming. It’s not the sound of mechanical parts grinding together. Is it a problem? We’ll tell you all about the ways your air conditioner might make a dripping sound and how to determine whether you’ve got a problem that needs repair.

The Components of Your Air Conditioner

To help you understand where dripping might come from, let’s first be clear about which AC components are where. The outdoor unit contains the compressor, which pressurizes the refrigerant, and the condenser coils, where the refrigerant is flowing while it releases the heat it absorbed from your home. Those coils continue into your house.

The indoor unit has the blower fan and motor, and the evaporator coils. It’s here that refrigerant soaks up heat, and in doing so, it causes condensation to accumulate on the exterior of the coils. This means that the indoor unit must also have a condensate pan, where that moisture collects, and a drainage line to carry the moisture out of your home. 

Sources of a Dripping Sound

As you can see, there are two things which can drip in an air conditioner: the condensation which forms on the outside of the coils, and the refrigerant which flows through the inside of the coils. Where is your dripping sound coming from? If it’s the outdoor unit, it’s extremely unlikely to be condensation, and you probably have a damaged coil which is allowing refrigerant to drip out.

If the dripping sound is occurring indoors, it could be either condensation or refrigerant. In order to determine which, we’ll have to consider whether there are other symptoms of an AC problem happening.

Additional AC Issues

It’s normal for a small amount of condensation to occur and cause an occasional dripping sound. Check your condensate pan. Perhaps you can see that a normal amount of dripping is occurring, and you’ll be able to put your mind at ease. Or perhaps you’ll see that the drainage line is clogged or the pan is damaged, and moisture is dripping out into your home rather than being safely drained away. Time for repairs!

If the issue is a refrigerant leak, you will notice other problems cropping up. In addition to dripping, you may hear bubbling or hissing. You may smell a sweet, chemical odor. You may notice that your air conditioner has to run more of the time in order to keep your home at the same temperature, or that it’s not able to keep your home cool enough. You may even have ice on your evaporator coils.

AC Repair

When a technician comes to help with your AC dripping sound in St. Petersburg, FL, they’ll be able to determine exactly what’s wrong. Then they’ll clean out or replace the condensate pan and drainage line, or repair the coils and refill the refrigerant. When you’ve got an AC concern, don’t delay. Get the help you need right away.

Contact us today to learn more about air conditioner repair.

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