The Thermal Expansion Valve: How It Can Boost Comfort and Savings in Your Next A/C

Most people strive to work smarter, not harder. The same goal applies to air conditioners. An air conditioner that works smarter doesn’t work as hard as other cooling systems and saves you money in the long run. Today’s air conditioners have a number of advanced features that help to ensure smarter operation and optimal energy savings. Among those features is the thermal expansion valve, also called the TEV or TXV valve. The thermal expansion valve manages the flow of refrigerant to your evaporator coil, based on your home’s cooling requirements from one day to the next or one hour to the next.

What the thermal expansion valve does

The thermal expansion valve closes and opens in response to fluctuating cooling requirements. When the temperature rises in air flowing over the indoor coil of your air conditioner, the valve senses the change and opens to increase the amount of refrigerant going into the coil. The added refrigerant absorbs more heat and expedites cooling. When the temperature falls, the valve closes to decrease the flow of refrigerant. The thermal expansion valve saves you money by making sure your system always has the specific refrigerant charge needed to meet the load demand. An incorrect refrigerant charge can lower air conditioner efficiency by as much as 20 percent, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

A professional contractor can add a thermal expansion valve to your existing split air conditioner, but check your owner’s manual first, as it could void the warranty. If you’re shopping for an air conditioner, look for this factory-added feature.

Other ways to save

  • A fan only switch used on cool days and at night can significantly reduces air-conditioning costs. You can turn the air conditioning off and simply use the ventilation.
  • A filter-check light can remind you to change your air filter. A dirty filter can significantly affect energy efficiency.
  • An automatic-delay fan switch turns the fan off a couple of minutes after the compressor stops running.

For more information on energy-saving features in today’s air conditioners, contact Beyer Boys. We have been providing quality service to homeowners in San Antonio and surrounding communities since 1990.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in the greater San Antonio, Texas area about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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