Types of Flow Control Devices for the HVAC Refrigerant

HVAC maintenance and repair

Air conditioning unit primarily comprises four elements; condenser, evaporator, compressor, and flow control device. The coolant is kept flowing through these components to keep your indoors comfortable. The maintenance of refrigerant flow is essential to the operation of your unit. There are times when this is unfortunately not possible and your entire HVAC unit malfunctions.

Heating repair handled by a technician based in Modesto, California is the only solution in these cases. It is, however, essential to have some know-how on what might go wrong in your unit so that you can understand what to expect from the repairs in the future. One of the common issues that affect the flow of refrigerant in your HVAC unit is a malfunctioning flow control device. The flow control device is generally a valve which fine-tunes the flow of your coolant and contributes to your unit’s energy conservation. The following are the flow control devices used in HVAC systems.

Thermostatic Expansion Valves

These are the standard metering devices used in HVAC units since they are inexpensive and precise. Thermostatic expansion valves control your refrigerant’s flow through the regulation of its flow rate vis-à-vis the evaporation rate. The valves will measure these rates by monitoring the refrigerant’s temperature as it evaporates and the evaporator’s pressure. However, these valves will not control the head and suction pressure, humidity or air temperature. Also, they will malfunction when used to do this.

Electronic Expansion Valve

valve and wrench

Though more expensive compared to the thermostatic expansion valve, this valve is more precise and consistent compared to the latter. It calculates the temperature of your unit as it heats and the pressure in your evaporator. The electronic expansion valve is opened and closed based on these variables, and it is easy to customize its flow based on them.

Solenoid Valve

This uses an electromagnet for the control of your refrigerant’s flow. In a solenoid valve, an electronic coil will be magnetized and will trigger a plunger which stops the refrigerant’s flow through the valve. When the valve is demagnetized, the refrigerant’s flow will resume. Solenoid valves are reliable, sturdy, and fast and can be used in remote locations since they are an easy fit and compact.

Float Valve

This is activated using a float which is immersed in your refrigerant. There are two types of float valves: low and high-side floats. The low-side valve maintains a constant liquid refrigerant level in your evaporator. The valve opens if there isn’t any liquid in your evaporator and closes if there is. The high-side float maintains a constant refrigerant level in your condenser. It opens when the refrigerant flows to your unit’s float chamber. This opening causes the refrigerant’s flow into your evaporator where it will be stored.

One of the most common issues which affect the operation of the above flow control devices is leakage. Leaking valves will reduce your unit’s overall efficiency and cause the wastage of your refrigerant. HVAC repair experts will use different leak detection devices to pinpoint the source of a leak and guide the repair of your unit. This guarantees an effective repair rather than one based on guesswork.

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