When it’s time to purchase a new A/C, many available features will add to energy efficiency and reduce cooling costs. One important component to look for is a thermal expansion valve. In fact, this is one of the top features recommended by the U.S. Department of Energy for A/Cs and heat pumps.
What it does
A thermal expansion valve (TEV or TXV) is a metering device. It controls the flow of refrigerant to your air conditioner’s evaporator coils, allowing more or less refrigerant depending on the amount of cooling needed at any particular time (the current cooling load). The valve controls the flow by expanding or contracting and can shut refrigerant off when it’s not needed.
Advantages over fixed valves
Fixed valves also meter refrigerant amounts, but they do it with less precision. Fixed valves do not adjust sufficiently to variances in cooling load. This leads to less efficient operation. Fixed valves also do not shut off refrigerant flow in the way a TEV will, and this can reduce the life span of the compressor.
Why it’s important to efficiency
- The cooling load of your home is not fixed. It can vary several times within a day, or even during an hour. The TEV’s ability to adjust, with precision, to these changes means that it also lowers the compressor’s energy usage when high-energy usage is not needed. This improves efficiency and reduces energy costs.
- Cooling the home is one of the biggest energy costs. Whatever steps you take to improve cooling efficiency will have a reducing effect on energy bills.
For more about the importance of a thermal expansion valve and other issues related to A/C efficiency, please contact us today at HVAC & Plumbing Unlimited. We happily serve the areas of Fairfax, Arlington, Alexandria, Springfield, Reston, Centreville, Lorton, Burke and Ashburn, Va.