The Purpose Of The Expansion Valve In Your Air Conditioner And What Happens When It Goes Bad

The expansion valve in your air conditioner plays a big role in keeping your house cool. This part is durable, so you may never have to call an AC repair company to replace it. However, if it gets clogged or fails, then it will affect how well your AC works. Here's how this valve operates and a look at how it's repaired or replaced.

The Expansion Valve Helps The Refrigerant Work

The expansion valve is located between the compressor and the evaporator coil. The pressurized refrigerant passes through the valve, and the valve releases some of the pressure. Doing this helps the refrigerant pick up more heat from your house.

An air conditioner works by pulling heat from the air in your house, so the more heat that's pulled out of your house, the better the AC keeps you cool. The refrigerant is constantly circulating through the AC equipment, and the pressurization and temperature help the refrigerant pick up heat, release heat, and go from a gas to a liquid.

The expansion valve is necessary so that the refrigerant is at the optimal state when it flows through the indoor evaporator coil to interact with the air in your house. When operating properly, the evaporator coil pulls heat and humidity from the air in your home.

Signs You May Notice When The Valve Is Bad

When the valve goes bad, you might notice unusual noises coming from the air handler. There could even be ice buildup on the evaporator coil. In addition, your AC may seem to run properly, but your house isn't as cool as it should be. If your house doesn't cool down properly, you might notice your AC is running for a long time, and that can drive up your electric bill.

What An AC Repair Technician Might Do

If the expansion valve is clogged up, the technician might clean it to see if that helps. If not, the valve might need to be replaced. The valve is easy to access, so replacing it isn't usually too difficult. However, you'll want to check if the valve is still under warranty as that might determine how the AC repair technician proceeds with the replacement. Plus, if the part is under warranty, you'll get help paying for the repairs.

You may not even be aware that your air conditioner has an expansion valve. It's okay if you don't know all of the parts in your AC. Just keep in mind that it's important to call an AC repair company to check the equipment when your home isn't cooling down or when you hear odd noises so the cause can be found and corrected before you incur a high energy bill.

Contact a local AC repair service, such as Carolina Air Care, to learn more.