Hansberger Refrigeration Blog: Your AC Repair Resource

Do You Know How an HVAC Expansion Valve Works for Your Unit?

An expansion valve is one of the crucial components that enable your air-conditioning system to help you combat the unrelenting heat in Yuma. If you don’t know much about this component, you’re not alone. Read on to find out the importance of an expansion valve.

How Does an Expansion Valve Work?

The expansion valve controls the rate at which the liquid AC refrigerant moves into the evaporator coil. Remember, your air conditioner uses refrigerant to cool your home. The refrigerant absorbs heat from your indoor air, flows to the outdoor condenser unit to dump that heat into the outdoor air, then flows back indoors and repeats the process.

The gaseous refrigerant flowing from the evaporator coil to the condenser unit has its pressure increased by the compressor. The increased pressure allows the refrigerant to release heat more easily when it flows into the condenser coil. The refrigerant turns into a liquid state as it releases heat while passing through the condenser coil. At this point, the refrigerant is in a medium-temperature and high-pressure state, which can’t cool your home properly.

The refrigerant enters the expansion valve under high pressure. However, the valve allows only a small portion of the refrigerant to enter the evaporator coil. The refrigerant expands and spreads out in a relatively empty coil, causing its pressure to drop rapidly, which results in the temperature dropping as well.

As air is blown over the evaporator coil containing low-pressure, cold refrigerant, the refrigerant draws heat from the air and pressure increases again. The refrigerant then flows to your outdoor unit and releases the absorbed heat through the condenser coil.

What Happens If There’s a Problem With the Expansion Valve?

If the expansion valve breaks down, an excessive amount of refrigerant may move into your system’s evaporator coil. The system won’t cool your home as efficiently because the refrigerant won’t have experienced the required temperature decrease. On the other hand, if debris becomes lodged inside the valve, it may prevent any refrigerant from passing through. That could lead to compressor burnout.

The pressure drop in the valve is crucial to the proper functioning of your air conditioner. Therefore, it’s essential to take care of your expansion valve and other AC components through proper checkups and maintenance. For quality AC maintenance or repair services in the Yuma area, contact Hansberger Refrigeration and Electric Company.