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AC Making Hissing Noise? Here’s What it Could Be (And How to Fix It)

Is your AC making a hissing noise or some other strange sound? If so, you could have reason to be concerned.

image - AC Making Hissing Noise? Here's What it Could Be (And How to Fix It)
AC Making Hissing Noise? Here’s What it Could Be (And How to Fix It)

But what could that sound mean? More importantly, how can you fix it? Here are some of the possible causes of a hissing AC.

An AC Making a Hissing Noise Could Mean Refrigerant Gas in the Expansion Valve

If the hissing sound from your AC unit only lasts for a few seconds, then you probably don’t need to worry. It likely doesn’t indicate much of a problem at all. It could simply be the sound of refrigerant gas moving through your expansion valve.

If the hissing sound is more consistent and persistent, though, then you could have a bigger problem.


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Check for a Leaky Refrigerant Line

Refrigerant is integral to your system. When your system is running correctly, the refrigerant moves throughout your system cooling the air in your home.

A prolonged hissing is a telltale sign that your HVAC system has a leaky refrigerant line. If there’s a crack or a hole in your AC line, then there could be a refrigerant leak. The larger the leak the louder and more gurgling the sound is

Not only does a refrigerant leak mean that your AC system won’t work as effectively, but it could also cost you a lot if you don’t catch it until it’s too late. It’s better if you find the leak earlier, so pay attention if you hear a hissing sound.

If you catch a leak early when it’s still small, there are refrigerant leak repair kits on the market – from tape to foam and other sealant products – on the market that you can use to fix a leak. For larger leaks, you should call a professional to handle the problem.

Don’t Rule Out an Internal Valve Leak

Hissing could also indicate that your internal compressor valve is leaking. This valve is important because it controls the pressure of your system’s refrigerant.

An internal valve leak could cause big problems for your AC unit if you wait too long to fix it. Luckily, it’s an easy fix if you realize it’s happening sooner than later – and one you can even handle on your own, depending on the severity. If you catch it early, it could simply mean replacing the valve with a new one or swapping out the plastic cap for a metal one.

If None of the Above, You Could Have Major Compressor Issues

If your compressor valve isn’t leaking, a hissing sound could mean the compressor itself is malfunctioning. This could cause the pressure in your air conditioning system to be too high or too low.

Again, this is another situation where if you catch the problem early, it’s an easy fix. While you might be able to seal your own refrigerant lines and valves, you should call in a professional for compressor issues.

Don’t wait to make the call if there’s a problem though, as compressor problems are costly. Since the compressor is the most expensive part of your AC unit, if your compressor goes, you’re better off replacing the entire system rather than trying to fix it.

Learn More DIY Fixes for Your Home

Now that you know what to do if you discover your AC making a hissing noise, check out our blog for more DIY fixes around the home.

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