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Air Conditioning Repair Tip: Hissing Sounds

Strange sounds coming from an air conditioner are usually warnings that the system needs to have professionals look into it to see if there are repair needs that must be taken care of soon. Some of the more prominent warning noises are grinding and groaning mechanical sounds, screeching, slapping and clanging, and rapid clicking.

A less obvious noise, but one that is still a cause for great concern, is a hissing that sounds like escaping steam or gas. When you hear this noise from your AC, do not wait: call for air conditioning repair in Pittsburgh, PA right away. Boehmer Heating & Cooling is on call 24 hours a day to service your AC with the necessary help to get it working again and out of danger of a major breakdown.

What That Hissing Sound Means and Why It’s Serious

The hissing sound coming from an air conditioner is the high-pressure refrigerant escaping from a leak along the lines, in the coils, or from the compressor. The refrigerant inside your AC is at a set level, known as its “charge,” that must remain the same for the air conditioner to work correctly. Refrigerant does not dissipate during normal operation, so losing charge isn’t a problem…unless a leak occurs.

When the refrigerant charge in an air conditioning system starts to drop, the AC will have a harder time absorbing sufficient heat along the indoor coil, and this will result in a drop in cooling power. As the evaporator coil struggles to absorb enough heat, the refrigerant will remain too low a temperature, and this will cause ice to start to form across the coil, which will further drop the heat absorption. Eventually, a solid block of ice will cover the coil and no heat exchange—and therefore no cooling—will take place.

The loss of refrigerant also means a change in pressure throughout the AC, and that can cause damage to the system. Most troubling of all is the damage that the low refrigerant can cause the compressor, which may eventually overheat without sufficient refrigerant. A burnt-out compressor usually means the whole air conditioner must be replaced.

How to Solve the Problem

The safest and surest way to deal with leaking refrigerant is to call for professionals. You will have a hard time finding the leak on your own, and even if you could seal it, you would not know how much refrigerant to recharge or even the right blend to use.

Call Boehmer Heating & Cooling when you have a hissing system that needs air conditioning repair in Pittsburgh, PA. We’ve delivered comfort since 1933.

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