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Why Is My AC Making a Gurgling Noise? Answers from an NJ Tech

May. 20, 2020
Notice a gurgling noise every time your AC kicks on? Sounds like a problem. That being said, the exact reason for the gurgling noise could be a few different things, including:
  • A refrigerant leak 
  • A condensate drain line clog
  • An issue with the condensate pump
Below, we’ll explain what each of these issues is, what causes them, and most importantly, how to fix each of the above so your AC stops gurgling.

If you would prefer to have a seasoned professional take a look at your AC system instead, we would be happy to help. We have over 25 years of experience helping NJ homeowners with all kinds of AC issues, so no matter what’s wrong with your system, we can help. Learn more about the AC repair services we offer or schedule service!

Gurgling Noise Cause #1: Refrigerant leak

 Your AC system cools your home by removing the heat from your home’s air.  It does this by blowing your home’s air over cold refrigerant lines that absorb the heat from the air. 

how an ac system works

Once the refrigerant has absorbed the heat, it carries that heat outside where it’s dumped. However, if your refrigerant lines are damaged or cracked, air can enter into your refrigerant lines which can cause a gurgling noise as your refrigerant moves through the lines. 

If you think a refrigerant leak may be your issue, you’ll need to reach out to a professional for help. Refrigerant is a toxic substance, so this is not a repair you should attempt on your own.  A tech will need to repair the leak and refill the refrigerant in your system. 
 

Gurgling Noise Cause #2: Condensate drain line clog

condensate drain line location

One of the most likely reasons that your AC is making a gurgling noise is because of a clog in your condensate drain line. 

The condensate drain line is responsible for draining the moisture your AC collects from your home’s air outside. However, if there is a clog in your condensate drain line, the water won’t be able to exit your home easily and can create a gurgling noise as it tries to make its way down the drain. 

condensate drain line diagram


Condensate drain lines can become clogged over time by excess dirt, debris or mold build-up. 

To unclog your condensate drain line, you should reach out to a professional. Unclogged a drain line can be complicated and doing it yourself could cause more issues. 

Gurgling Noise Cause #3: Condensate pump

As we mentioned above, condensate drains out of your home via a condensate line. Your AC system pulls moisture out of your home’s air and this condensation collects in a drain pan underneath your evaporator coil. 



Some systems are set up to drain via gravity, but others have a condensate pump that pumps water from the drain pan to the condensate line where it’s forced out of your home. If your condensate pump is damaged or malfunctioning, too much water can build up and can create a gurgling noise when your pump attempts to push that water down the condensate drain line.

If you notice the gurgling noise while your AC is running, this could be your issue. To fix it, you’ll need to contact a professional who can safely disassemble parts of your AC to repair or replace your condensate pump. 

Can’t seem to figure out what the issue is? Air Experts is here to help

If you’ve tried some of the fixes above and you’re still having issues with your AC system, reach out to a professional for help. We’ve had 25 years of experience serving NJ homeowners, so no matter what noise your AC is making, we can easily diagnose it and advise you on the best solution. 

Schedule service!