For the air conditioner to properly cool your Plano, TX home, the refrigerant must flow seamlessly between the evaporator and the condenser coils. Additionally, the refrigerant must transition from liquid to gaseous state smoothly. Whenever this happens, there is expansion, especially when the liquid refrigerant vaporizes. It means that there should be a device that checks this pressure increase. The expansion valve is a critical component in an AC unit that regulates refrigerant flow between the evaporator and compressor. If you suspect the expansion valve has a problem, contact your AC repair company to inspect the unit further. Based on the system’s requirements and design, the professional may use the following:
Thermostatic Expansion Valve (TXV)
The first type of expansion valve that an AC repair company can install in your air conditioner is the thermostatic expansion valve (TXV). Like other expansion valves, the main function of the TXV is to regulate the amount of refrigerant that flows into the evaporator coil, which is responsible for absorbing heat from the air. This helps the air conditioner maintain a consistent and efficient cooling performance.
TXV valves are often used in air conditioning systems with high refrigerant charges and varying load conditions. They offer precise refrigerant flow control, allowing for better temperature and humidity control. They can also help systems operate more efficiently by providing the right amount of refrigerant to the evaporator coil, which reduces the chance of too much or too little refrigerant, which could cause problems.
However, TXV valves also require regular maintenance, such as cleaning and testing by an AC repair company. They are also more sensitive to changes in temperature and pressure. They can succeed if properly installed or maintained, leading to better cooling performance and increased energy consumption.
The other commonly used expansion valve is the capillary tube. It is a simple, inexpensive device that an AC repair company in Plano, TX can install in your AC to control refrigerant flow in the system. It is a small, narrow tube filled with refrigerant and has a fixed orifice that restricts refrigerant flow through the tube. The device is simple, has no mechanical parts, and has a longer service life.
Capillary tubes are often used in small air conditioning systems, such as window units or systems with low refrigerant charges. They are easy to install and maintain, and they do not require electricity to operate. The small orifice inside the tube creates a pressure drop that helps control the refrigerant flow. To function efficiently, the refrigerant volume must be calibrated precisely at a refrigerant level.
However, capillary tubes are less precise in controlling the refrigerant flow than other expansion valves, such as thermal expansion valves. They also have a fixed restriction, meaning they cannot adjust to varying load conditions in the system. This can lead to poor cooling performance and increased energy consumption. Additionally, if the refrigerant charge of the system changes, the capillary tube’s restriction may not match the new charge and will lead to poor performance. Hence, if you have a window AC and need to replace the expansion valve, talk to your AC repair company about capillary tubes.
Automatic Expansion Valve
An AC repair company can also install an automatic valve in your AC to regulate the coolant flow. It uses a combination of spring and atmospheric pressure to control the movement of a diaphragm and needle, which opens and closes the valve. When the spring and atmospheric pressure push down on the diaphragm, it causes the needle to move away from the seat, opening the valve and allowing refrigerant to flow through. However, when the evaporator pressure pushes the diaphragm upward, the needle moves toward the seat, closing the valve and restricting the refrigerant flow.
The automatic expansion valve maintains a balance between the spring and evaporator pressure, allowing a steady refrigerant flow through the valve. This helps to keep the pressure inside the evaporator constant and automatically adjusts the spring pressure. When the refrigeration system is shut off, a certain amount of refrigerant remains in the evaporator.
It creates pressure, which causes the diaphragm to push the needle against the seat, keeping the valve closed. When the system is turned back on, the pressure inside the evaporator reduces, and the automatic expansion valve opens again. Hence, consult the AC repair company about installing an automatic expansion valve if you want a precise one.
The other type of valve that an AC repair company in Plano, TX may install is an air conditioner to regulate refrigerant flow and pressure is a float valve. It operates by having a spring-loaded piston that sits in a sealed chamber. As the refrigerant enters the valve, it creates pressure that pushes the piston against the spring, which opens the valve and allows the refrigerant to flow. When the pressure drops, the spring pushes the piston back, closing the valve and restricting the refrigerant flow.
The main advantage of float valves is their high sensitivity to pressure changes. They can quickly respond to changes in the system and adjust the refrigerant flow. This helps keep the evaporator pressure consistent and improves the air conditioning system’s efficiency. Float valves are small in size, easy for the AC repair company to install, and require little maintenance.
However, float valves are less precise in controlling the refrigerant flow than other expansion valves, such as thermal expansion valves. They also have a limited control range, meaning they need help adjusting to a wide range of load conditions and refrigerant charges. As a result, they are mostly used in smaller systems, such as residential units, where accuracy and range of control are less of a concern.
Are you looking to replace the expansion valve in your air conditioning unit? Do you suspect there is a problem with the expansion valve? Contact us at One Hour Air Conditioning & Heating of Dallas today.