Why Is My Air Conditioner Making A Hissing Sound?

If you’re looking for heating repair Baltimore so that you may keep your home warm, please check out some other articles on our blog as this article asks a very important question – why is my air conditioner making a hissing sound?

An important question indeed, one that should be addressed immediately because, first and foremost, your air conditioner isn’t supposed to be making such a sound. Think about it, when was the last time a hissing sound meant something good? Well, the only thing that’s good about hearing your air conditioner hissing is that it’s an alarm warning you of an urgent problem.

One that if you don’t get fixed soon will only get much worse and render your air conditioner all but useless at cooling your home in the dead of summer. That’s like not having an air conditioner in the first place while paying increased energy bills because you’re running it for far longer than you would if there wasn’t a hissing sound emanating from the system.

So why is it hissing then? The most common culprit is a refrigerant leak which is almost always accompanied by a very distinct noise that resembles a hiss or bubbling sound. When you hear it, you know something’s amisssss and you must get it checked out as soon as possible.

What is Refrigerant and Why is it Important?

Simply put, refrigerant is the liquified gas that makes your air conditioner do what it’s supposed to so effectively – turn warm air cold. Some folks call it refrigerant, others call it Freon, but no matter what name you want to give it, this is something your AC system absolutely must have in order to operate correctly.

When your system has a leak somewhere and the refrigerant is low that can have a significantly negative impact on your HVAC system because low refrigerant could cause you to run it for much longer than need be, overworking it and possibly doing some serious damage in the process.

Is it a Refrigerant Leak?

Are there other reasons why your AC is making that hissing sound? Yes, you could be dealing with problems in your compressor. You may have an internal valve leak in that component or the pressure in the compressor is exceeding safe levels, in which case you must shut the air conditioner off immediately and leave it off until you call a licensed technician to check it out.

But those possibilities are less common than leaking refrigerant and if you are hearing that all too recognizable hissing noise, then you should attempt to confirm it by looking for these accompanying symptoms:

You’re Running the System Longer

Low refrigerant means you aren’t cooling the air in your home effectively as it’s main function is to take in and absorb heat in order to lower the temperature of the air blowing into and back out of your AC system. When the unit can’t perform that function effectively, you need to run your air conditioner much longer than normal.

So the next time you switch on your air conditioning, be sure to notice how long it takes to cool down the home.

The Vents are Blowing Warm Air

Without refrigerant there is no cool air. So a pretty obvious tell that you’re low is when your AC isn’t even expelling cold air from your vents. This may be an indication that you are leaking precious refrigerant.

Frost Buildup

Your AC unit will not just warn you of a leak with an audible hiss but give you visual confirmation as well in the form of frost or ice coating the copper line leading to your outdoor AC unit. That copper line is your refrigerant line and if it is covered in a layer of ice you are probably leaking refrigerant.

Increased Electricity Costs

Since your AC unit isn’t working properly but weren’t aware of it and so you kept running it exponentially longer than usual because you were only trying to cool down your home your energy bills have gone through the roof. But now you hear a hissing and, after reading this article, everything is starting to make sense.

You probably have a refrigerant leak and you’ve got the electric bill to prove it.

Now that you are aware of the problem and have a growing amount of evidence to confirm that it may very well be a refrigerant leak, you need to get it fixed. You can only do that by calling a licensed contractor to come out to diagnose the issue, locate the leak, and repair it.

Once that’s done, you will need your system refilled with more refrigerant and you’re good to go.

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