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Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. Blog

Hissing or Bubbling: Bad Sounds to Hear

An air conditioner shouldn’t make that many noises. A quick “click” is pretty normal, and you should probably hear the sound of air coming through your vents to greet you with cool, comfortable temperatures. This is a no-brainer, so we don’t think you need to call us if you’re encountering those two noises.

However, few noises are as serious and as common as a “hissing” or “bubbling” noise. This noise signifies a refrigerant leak, but the root of the problem could be a lot more complicated. For now, it would be best if you called our team for prompt air conditioning repair in Highland Park, IL. We can send someone over ASAP to fix your AC unit so you can get back to the important things in your life.

If you’re curious about why this sound is occurring and what causes a refrigerant leak, then keep reading. We’ll give you the rundown on this sound, what’s happening behind the scenes, and the best way of dealing with a refrigerant leak.

Why Your AC Is Making That Noise

The science behind a refrigerant leak is actually quite interesting. Refrigerant isn’t just a liquid that runs through your air conditioner, it’s both a liquid and a gas depending on where in the cooling process it is. When it evaporates in your evaporator coil, it goes from liquid to gas which draws heat into it from your home. Then, when it travels outdoors, it condenses at the condenser coil, turning back into a liquid and dispersing the heat it collected into the environment. That’s the basic cooling process!

However, when there’s a hole in your refrigerant line it causes one of two things. In the liquid line, oxygen from the environment will seep into the refrigerant line and cause bubbles to form. This is the “bubbling” portion of the sound.

If the hole appears in the gaseous part of the refrigerant line, it will make a “hissing” noise as the gaseous refrigerant escapes into the atmosphere.

That’s where both of these noises originate from!

The Cause of a Refrigerant Leak

Here’s where things get tricky. Refrigerant lines don’t just leak on their own. There are many reasons why your system could be leaking refrigerant, and here are just a few:

  • Weathering on the exposed refrigerant lines outdoors.
  • Critters breaking your refrigerant lines.
  • Age leading to wear and tear.

Refrigerant Is NOT Fuel

Keep in mind that your AC should not be losing refrigerant at all throughout the course of your ownership. Don’t think that losing a little bit of refrigerant isn’t that bad, because it can cause problems with efficiency and increase your energy bill month after month.

Your AC is installed with an amount of refrigerant that should last throughout its lifetime!

Evaluate Your Options for Replacement

When you call us about a refrigerant leak, we can stop by and patch it while also providing your system with a refrigerant recharge. However, if you keep encountering refrigerant leaks, or your system is just starting to have really bad refrigerant leaks, then it might be time to replace the whole thing. Let’s evaluate your need for a system replacement together.

Call Roberts Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. to have your refrigerant leak patched.

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