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Why is my AC making a hissing noise? 

A hissing noise coming from your HVAC system should not be disregarded. Among the potential causes are leaky refrigerant lines, an internal valve leak or a serious problem with your compressor. If the hissing noise is heard from your ductwork, then you may have leaking air ducts. This is annoying, but not necessarily a reason to worry. A hissing sound may indicate any of these things, but we’ll try to narrow it down further. 

Does the hissing sound end after a few seconds? 

If you hear a hissing noise that stops after a few moments, you may not have any problems. That might be refrigerant in your expansion valve, which is part of the normal operation of your HVAC system. 

Is the AC Making a Hissing Sound with Bubbling Noises? 

Are you hearing a bubbling sound paired with a hissing sound? This may indicate a refrigerant leak. If a refrigerant leak is present, you may notice a slight hissing sound as the refrigerant escapes via the leak. The coolant escapes as a gas and can be a major health concern. If you have signs of a refrigerant leak, power down the AC and call a qualified HVAC company to come take a look. 

If the problem is a valve leak, it should be repaired by a technician as soon as possible. The job of the valves is to manage the pressurization of the refrigerant gas and if unresolved, the leak will worsen. When it does, the hissing sound will often intensify, which can be a sign if you’re looking for a cause. You must maintain proper pressure in your system for it cool your home, and any leak will create additional health and maintenance problems. You ought to get this fixed post haste if possible. 

Are Hissing Noises Coming from the Compressor? 

The compressor is located in the exterior air conditioning unit, which is also known as a condenser unit. Listen nearby the condenser for the hissing noise. If it turns out that the compressor is the problem, this could be a hazardous situation because it is an indication that the pressure within the compressor is too great. If you hear hissing, whistling, or shrieking coming from your compressor, switch off your air conditioner pronto and call an expert technician. 

Photo of AC unit showing location of compressor

Compressors are some of the most costly parts to repair or replace inside an air conditioner. Compressors are the part responsible for pushing refrigerant through the system. You cannot run an AC and cool your home without a compressor. The cost varies based on factors such as the type, unit size, and brand requirements. If you have a two stage compressor in the unit today, you would need to replace it with another two stage compressor. It’s impossible to upgrade or downgrade the compressor type – your unit has specific requirements for what compressors are installed and can’t be MacGyvered. While it’s impossible to provide estimates because of the variable costs, the bill is frequently high enough to just do a replacement in older units. This is why it’s crucial to shut off the air conditioning and call a reputable HVAC company if you hear hissing sounds coming from the compressor. 

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