How Do You Fix a Gurgling Air Conditioner?

When you need reliable AC repair, call Maximum Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning at 619-949-1379.

The last thing you need is for your air conditioner to break in the height of summer. It could take days to get a technician to come to your home for repair service. If you notice your air conditioner making gurgling noises, you may be able to remedy the problem before it grows out of control. 

How do you fix a gurgling air conditioner? It depends on the reason for the gurgling. Let’s learn a few causes and what you can do about them. 

At Maximum Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, we are East San Diego’s air conditioning repair team for when you don’t have the time to devote to figuring out why you have a gurgling air conditioner.

Here are some common reasons you could have a gurgling air conditioner and steps you can take to repair the problem.

Blocked Condensate Drain Line

The condensate drain line moves excess moisture outside, preventing water damage and mold growth. When the condensate line becomes clogged, the condensation buildup creates a gurgling sound. You will simply need to unclog the condensate drain line in order to fix the gurgling sound.

You will need a wet/dry vacuum for this process. First, locate the condensate drain line, which is typically a PVC pipe that extends to your home’s exterior. 

Attach your vacuum hose to the pipe and turn it on for at least two minutes, listening for any signs of debris coming unlodged. After two minutes, look inside the vacuum. If you see a puddle of water and a gross mass of debris, the project was successful. 

While this method works if you have a clog close to the end of the pipe, it may not help if the clog is more difficult to reach. In that case, a service appointment with an HVAC professional is the best course of action for removing the clog. The longer you neglect the clog, the bigger it will grow, resulting in extensive damage or a total breakdown of your air conditioning unit.

Refrigerant Leak

Your air conditioner requires a certain amount of refrigerant in order to maintain a cool temperature within your home. The evaporator coils consist of delicate copper that can form small holes over time, which quickly grow larger and result in a refrigerant leak.

You may hear a gurgling sound as refrigerant escapes from holes in the evaporator coils. You will also notice that your air conditioning is not able to keep your home as cool as you would like. 

You should never try to repair evaporator coils yourself, or you could end up causing larger damage that is more expensive to repair. If your unit is still under warranty, attempting your own air conditioner repair could void it if you cause any damage. 

If you have a refrigerant leak, call a professional for repair service instead of DIY methods for patching holes in the evaporator coils. A professional can repair the coils and top off your refrigerant quickly and safely.

Damaged Condensate Pump

The condensate pump collects moisture that forms on the outside of the evaporator coils and sends it to the condensate drain line. If the condensate pump malfunctions, you will hear a gurgling sound as the pump tries to keep the excess moisture from forming puddles near your unit. In addition to the gurgling sound, your unit may run constantly, driving up your utility bills without cooling your home.

You can relieve the condensate pump by emptying out excess moisture. Applying vinegar or bleach solution can help clean the pump if you see any mold growth when you empty it. If you don’t know the answer to the question, “How do you fix a gurgling air conditioner?” you can ease your stress by scheduling an annual maintenance call. The HVAC technician will ensure the condensate pump works as it should, preventing you from emptying it yourself.

Maintaining Your Air Conditioner with Annual Service

The best way to extend the life of your air conditioning unit is with annual service from a professional HVAC technician. Your air conditioner can last over 15 years if you take all possible measures to maintain it. It’s normal for components like the evaporator coils or the condensate pump to form damage from normal use.

Replacing components over the years helps your air conditioner last as long as possible before you need a total replacement. Units with functioning components work more efficiently, lowering your monthly bills.

During an annual maintenance call, technicians will clean your unit thoroughly and replace the filter. A clean air filter allows your unit to remove pollution from the air and increases your indoor air quality.

Your HVAC professionals will also inspect each part for signs of damage and replace them as necessary, preventing future damage.

Next, they will add more refrigerant as necessary and ensure your thermostat is accurate.

An annual inspection keeps your air conditioner working efficiently and reduces the chance of your unit breaking during a heat wave. Scheduling the inspection before summer ensures a technician can get to your home quickly before the busy season begins. 

Reliable HVAC Service in San Diego

When your air conditioner makes a gurgling sound, there is definitely a problem somewhere within the unit. Whether it’s low refrigerant from damaged evaporator coils or a clogged condensate drain line, the problem will only grow if you ignore it. Attempting your own air conditioner repair could void your warranty and end up causing more damage than you started with. 

If you ask yourself, “How do you fix a gurgling air conditioner?” and you don’t know the answer, don’t put off calling a professional. At Maximum Comfort Heating & Air Conditioning, we can help identify and repair the cause of gurgling. If your air conditioner needs repairs increasingly more often, we can discuss which types of air conditioners we provide within your budget when the time comes for an upgrade.

Fill out our online form or call 619-949-1379 to schedule a free home comfort evaluation in San Diego and the surrounding communities.