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Professional Heating & Air Blog

Hissing Sounds from Your Air Conditioning: What They Mean

An air conditioner, when operating normally, makes a predictable series of sounds: fans whirring, the compressor humming, and the occasional sound of condensate drainage. When another sound interrupts this pattern, it usually indicates that the AC needs to have professionals look into it and see if it requires repairs. Grinding and groaning sounds can point toward motors undergoing excess stress, clanging that a fan belt has come loose or a fan blade is bent, and clicking that a capacitor is about to fail.

In this post, we’ll address one sound in particular. It isn’t as loud and noticeable as some of the others, but it can warn of a problem as bad if not worse. When you hear a hissing noise from either cabinet of your AC, it means you probably have refrigerant escaping… and that requires professionals to perform air conditioning repair in Hammond, LA on the double, before your cooling system sustains serious damage that may even lead to requiring a replacement. Look to A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning for the work you need, when you need it.

The Problems of Leaking Refrigerant

The refrigerant (sometimes called “Freon”) inside an AC is responsible for carrying out heat exchange. To do this properly, it must remain at a set level, known as a “charge,” that is balanced for a specific air conditioner. Refrigerant does not dissipate under normal circumstances, but the charge can start to drop if the AC develops leaks.

When the charge lowers, the air conditioner will start to lose its ability to absorb heat along the evaporator coil. The refrigerant in the coil will remain cold, and this will trigger the condensate moisture along the coil to freeze. The presence of ice will further restrict heat absorption, and even more ice will develop, leading to a cycle that will eventually conclude with a solid block of ice across the coil and a complete end of the cooling cycle.

Even more worrisome: a drop in refrigerant charge will cause an imbalance inside the air conditioner that will damage the components. The compressor—the most vital piece of machinery in an AC—can overheat and burn out due to a lowered refrigerant charge. A burnt-out compressor will have to be replaced, or even the whole air conditioner with it… the most expensive “repair” of all.

You do not want leaking refrigerant to continue for any longer than necessary. At the first hissing noise, or the moment after you spot ice forming along the evaporator coil, call for professional air conditioning repair in Hammond, LA. A–Professional Heating and Air Conditioning is available 24 hours a day to bring you the skilled work that will keep your AC cooling your home all summer long.

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