Summer is in full swing, and your air conditioner is working hard. Maybe a little too hard? Unfortunately, the stress of keeping up with a family’s cooling demands can eventually wear out even the hardiest air conditioner. If you think you’ll be looking for a new A/C before the end of the cooling season–or anytime this year–you’ll want to have the most advanced features. One that you’ll want to consider is the thermal expansion valve.
The thermal expansion valve
What is a thermal expansion valve? Simply put, it’s a device that controls the flow of refrigerant to the evaporator coil of your air conditioner. Just as your eyes adjust to different light conditions, the thermal expansion valve adjusts to your home’s fluctuation cooling requirements, delivering the precise amount of refrigerant that’s needed from one hour to the next, from one day to the next. When you need more cooling, the valve allows more refrigerant into the evaporator coil. Precision delivery means that your air conditioner won’t get too much or too little refrigerant. This enhances system performance and longevity, as too much coolant can overwhelm an A/C and cause damage to the compressor, while too little can cause an A/C to underperform.
Other features you’ll want to consider
As you shop for your replacement air conditioner, you’ll probably find that quite a few features are available today that weren’t available when you purchased your present system. Among the options you might want to consider:
- A fan-only switch, which allows you to rely on ventilation, and not your air conditioning, at night and in the early morning, when temperatures are cooler.
- An air-filter alert, which tells you when it’s time to change the filter.
- A variable-speed air handler, which allows your system to run at a slower energy-saving speed most of the time and ramp up only when more cooling is needed.
Of course, you’ll also want to consider the seasonal energy efficiency ratio. Today’s air conditioners must have a minimum SEER of 13. High-efficiency units can have SEER ratings in the 20s, and while they generally cost more upfront, they typically pay for themselves quickly in terms of energy savings.
Shopping for an A/C replacement? Contact the experts at Climatic Conditioning Co. We can help you choose the system that’s ideal for your unique cooling requirements. And then our NATE-certified technicians can see to it that your system is installed and maintained for many years of optimal service life. We serve homeowners throughout the Sarasota area.