When the minimum efficiency regulation changed to 13 SEER (Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio) in 2006, most OEM (original equipment manufacturer) systems began incorporating Thermostatic Expansion Valves (TXV), a metering device now standard for air conditioning systems. Because of this, it is important that your commercial HVAC contractor understand the design and operation of this type of valve.
What Does a Thermostatic Expansion Valve Do?
The thermostatic expansion valve is a precision device that does one thing. It controls the rate of flow of liquid refrigerant into the evaporator. The TXV matches the flow rate against the rate of refrigerant evaporation. To accomplish this, the TXV responds to the temperature of the refrigerant vapor as it leaves the evaporator and the pressure in the evaporator itself. This is necessary to prevent floodback – the return of excess refrigerant to the compressor – and maximize evaporator efficiency.
Why is a Thermostatic Expansion Valve Better than a Fixed Bore Device?
As the temperature in a building varies, the refrigerant flow requirements for optimum system performance also vary. Fixed bore devices deliver a fixed amount of refrigerant at all times, while a TXV continuously senses the changes in the building’s cooling load and alters the refrigerant flow accordingly.
Additional benefits include:
- Energy Savings: Improper refrigerant levels can decrease AC efficiency by as much as 20%. The use of a TXV allows your system to work smarter, more efficiently, and ultimately save you money.
- Better Protection: A thermal expansion valve prevents coolant from reaching the compressor, which can cause major damage and shorten the life of your compressor.
- Better Climate Control: The air conditioner delivers more consistent cooling with fewer spikes and sags in indoor room temperatures. The A/C unit can also respond quicker and more efficiently to indoor temperature variations.
Thermostatic Expansion Valve and SEER Ratings
Today, the TXV has even made its way into residential cooling technology and is available as a retrofit for both residential and commercial air conditioning units. The SEER of a typical AC unit can increase by as much as 11% by simply replacing the fixed standard expansion valve with a smart thermostatic expansion valve. A cooling unit’s SEER rating is directly proportional to its energy efficiency.
With spring underway and summer right around the corner, now is the time to address HVAC maintenance and efficiency. HVAC systems account for 40% to 70% of a commercial building’s energy bill. So whether you’re currently in the market for a new system or simply looking to improve the efficiency of your current system, a thermostatic expansion valve should be on your wish list.
Commercial HVAC Maintenance and Retrofits in Washington DC, Maryland, & Virginia
Crockett Facilities Services, Inc. (CFSI), an award-winning HVAC and mechanical contractor servicing Maryland, Virginia and DC, has been improving the operating efficiency of heating and air conditioning systems for commercial property managers and facility owners for over 14 years. We service all types of HVAC equipment, including packaged terminal air conditioners (PTACs), air handling units (AHUs), rooftop units (RTUs), chillers, boilers, heat pumps and mission-critical computer room air conditioners (CRACs). Our technicians understand the design and operation of Thermostatic Expansion Valves (TXV) and know how to best maximize the efficiency of your HVAC system.
With the Crockett Promise, we’ll take care of all your building operations, giving you peace of mind, so you can focus on running your business.
Contact CFSI today to learn more about our HVAC Preventive Maintenance Programs and costs. We can be reached via phone at 202.600.2787, or online via email firstname.lastname@example.org or online contact form. We’re In This Building Together!
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- Consider a Thermal Expansion Valve for Your Next A/C Replacement
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