Your Atlanta air conditioner is a complex piece of equipment that can frustrate a homeowner who just wants to understand how it works to better maintain it. To help at least in a small way with this frustration, this post addresses one of the more mysterious and less obvious parts in the air conditioning mystery: thermostatic expansion valves.
A thermostatic expansion valve – sometimes just called a “TEV” – is a smallish valve adjacent to the cooling coil in your AC system. It connects the incoming refrigerant line and the inlet to the cooling coil. Think of it as a gateway for the refrigerant as it comes from the outside, through the lines and is about to enter the air handler at the cooling coil.
Just like a gatekeeper, the TEV’s job is to control what is allowed to enter. It metes the refrigerant into the cooling coil, so that just the right amount gets through. This is important, because having either too much or too little refrigerant circulating through the cooling coil can cause big drop in the performance of your air conditioner, as well as lead to potential damage and necessary repairs.
The TEV is different from some other valves in that it cannot be manually opened or closed as part of the air conditioner’s normal operation. Instead of being like a switch that can be flicked on and off, the TEV plays the role of a meter device, regulating the amount of refrigerant flowing through it and into the cooling coil at any one time.
When the thermostatic expansion valve is not working properly, you may experience AC problems like insufficient cooling, frozen or frosted cooling coils or other performance problems. A licensed Atlanta air conditioning technician will know how to diagnose and fix problems with thermostatic expansion valves. For any problems with your air conditioner, give Cool Air Mechanical a call!