The entire air conditioner system and all of its components must work together to bring the cool air when demanded during the hot summer season. Once one component begins to fail, the entire air conditioner system will begin to develop problems. Where there are major components that lead to complete cooling failure, there are also those smaller components that can have a big effect such as the expansion valve. The expansion valve is a small but vital part of any air conditioning system. Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning will share more about the expansion valve and what signs to watch for when it begins to fail.
How Do AC Expansion Valves Work
An air conditioner works by moving the refrigerant through the cooling system which changes the refrigerant from a liquid into a gas. The cool refrigerant moves throughout the home absorbing the heat out of the air. During the stage of the cooling cycle in which the refrigerant absorbs the heat from the air and then turns it into a gas is known as a gaseous refrigerant. The gaseous refrigerant is moved to the exterior unit which is the condenser and then it releases the heat. The refrigerant will then return back into a liquid. Before the refrigerant can be used again it must be cooled down first as it is too hot. During this cooling down stage is where the expansion valve comes into play. The expansion valves help to remove the pressure from the refrigerant which helps it to cool down faster. Without the expansion valve, it would take way too long for the refrigerant to release the pressure on its own and for it to cool down. When the expansion valve develops a problem, it puts a delay on the next cooling cycle and the entire cooling system.
How Do You Know if Your Expansion Valve is Bad?
When the expansion valve begins to fail, signs will appear very quickly. One sign is that your home will get hot. As the refrigerant hasn’t cooled down yet, it cannot absorb any heat from the air. However, the rest of the air conditioner doesn’t know this and will continue to run the cycle. Even though the air conditioner is running, it will fail to cool down the air. As a result, the fan will blow hot or warm back into the home. One sign to make note of is when you can feel warm or hot air coming from the air vents. A result of the warm air blowing into the home, the thermostat will trigger another cycle in an attempt to cool down the home. You will notice frequent cooling cycles but no cool air. At this point the best course of action is to turn off your air conditioning and call an HVAC service. Another sign to know if it is the expansion valve is that you will see ice on the coils. Often when there is a disruption with the refrigerant, it will result in ice building up on the coils. Ice can build up on the condenser coils as well as the evaporator coils.
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To have the expansion valve inspected and or replaced or for other HVAC services, contact Air Supply Heating & Air Conditioning today.