Look for a Thermostatic Expansion Valve When Upgrading Your Home’s A/C
If you’re looking to replace your A/C, keep in mind that it uses a substantial portion of home energy costs. Units with a thermostatic expansion valve (TXV or TEV) perform better in a variety of weather. This valve helps to control energy costs because it increases the unit’s efficiency. A TXV is a small, brass mechanism that regulates the amount of refrigerant moving through the evaporator coil of your A/C.
How it worksJust as the thermostat in your car opens to allow coolant to flow when the engine heats up, the thermostatic expansion valve makes more refrigerant available to the A/C’s indoor coils when it’s needed the most. In contrast, when the air conditioner doesn’t need to run at its highest capacity, the TXV reduces the flow of refrigerant. This switching between higher and lower levels of refrigerant allows the A/C to quickly adjust to the constantly changing cooling load. The cooling load is the amount of heat at any specific time that the air conditioner must remove to keep your home at a steady and comfortable temperature. Throughout a typical day, the cooling load changes. It may increase during the warmest part of day, while you run appliances like the stove or dryer, and even when you use a lot of lighting. In the early morning hours, the cooling load may be less.
TXV optionsThe best option is to purchase an A/C unit with a factory-installed TXV, especially if you have a package air conditioner with the condenser and evaporator coils under the same cover. Units that do not have a TXV use a fixed orifice tube or capillary tube to meter refrigerant, somewhat less efficiently than a TXV. Circumventing these may void your warranty. For split systems where the coils are indoors, your A/C technician can install the TXV or a new set of indoor evaporator coils with one already attached. For more information about whether a thermostatic expansion valve is right for your home cooling needs, contact the team at Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’re proud to offer expert customer service to greater Cincinnati 24 hours a day. Image via Shutterstock.com
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