Upgrading Your A/C? Ask About Thermal Expansion Valves

July 12, 2013
Ross and Witmer

Upgrading your A/C gives you the opportunity to add efficiency-boosting and money-saving components to your cooling system. A thermal expansion valve is one of the more useful of these air conditioner upgrades. Also known as a thermostatic expansion valve, a TXE or a TEV, this device will dramatically improve your A/C performance.

A thermostatic expansion valve improves the efficiency of the flow of refrigerant through your air conditioning system. Refrigerant is the substance responsible for the capture and release of heat, producing the cooling that makes your home comfortable.

Refrigerant flows through a set of indoor and outdoor coils. In the indoor evaporator coil, the refrigerant changes state from liquid to gas. In the process, it absorbs heat, which is then carried to the outdoor coils. In the condenser coil, the gaseous refrigerant returns to liquid form, releasing heat as it does so. Cooling, as a result, results from removing heat from indoors rather than directly generating cool air.

When a thermal expansion valve is added, it improves the process by controlling the amount of refrigerant flow. The valve changes size automatically depending on how much cooling is needed at the time. When more cooling is needed, the valve allows more refrigerant through. When less cooling is required, the valve restricts refrigerant flow. The flow control offered by a thermal expansion valve significantly improves A/C efficiency.

You can also add other advanced features when upgrading your A/C, such as:

  • Variable-speed air handlers that change speed to provide more (or less) airflow when needed.
  • Fan-only switches that let you turn off the compressor and use the A/C for ventilation only.
  • Automatic delay fan switches that turn off the fan a short time after the compressor. This allows the system to distribute all the cool air that has been produced.
  • Filter-change lights that let you know when it’s time to put a new air filter in the system. Clean filters improve A/C performance.

Founded in 1945, Ross & Witmer is a leading source of heating and air conditioning services in Charlotte and neighboring communities in North Carolina. Contact us today for more information on upgrading your A/C with thermal expansion valves and other features that will improve system performance and trim your monthly cooling costs.

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