The central air conditioning system is a great example of modern engineering, and there’s nothing better on a hot summer day than a cool home.
However, there’s more to your air conditioner than meets the eye. Small parts work together keep your home comfortable all year long.
One of those parts is the expansion valve. Without this critical component, air conditioning would be impossible. Continue reading to learn more about the expansion valve and how you can keep your unit on top of things.
What is the Expansion Valve?
Your air conditioner works by moving refrigerant throughout the system and changing that refrigerant from a liquid to a gas and back again. Cool, liquid refrigerant moves inside your home or office and absorbs heat as it does.
With the heat absorption, the refrigerant then turns into a gas. The gaseous refrigerant moves to the outdoor portion of the unit where the absorbed heat is released outside. This release makes the refrigerant go back to liquid form and the cycle repeats.
Once the gaseous refrigerant releases the heat from the air into the outdoors, the refrigerant is still too warm to absorb more heat once back inside.
This is where the expansion valve steps up to the plate.
The expansion valve removes pressure from the refrigerant, allowing it to cool rapidly in preparation for more heat absorption.
When Your Expansion Valve Malfunctions
There are many A/C problems that could be associated with a malfunctioning expansion valve. These include:
- Your A/C not blowing cool air
- Frozen coils
- A constantly running system
Luckily, most expansion valves can be cheaply repaired or replaced. If you feel that your air conditioning system isn’t performing as well as it should, Richmond’s Air can help. Contact one of our professional HVAC technicians to schedule an appointment, or check out our A/C Equipment Guide to narrow down the problem.