The Thermal Expansion Valve: A Feature You’re Sure to Want Installed With Your Next A/C

The Thermal Expansion Valve: A Feature You're Sure to Want Installed With Your Next A/CDid you know that air conditioning accounts for about half of your summer electricity bills? If you’ve ever documented the spike in utility costs during the cooling season, this should come as no surprise.

Fortunately, certain advanced features can be included in your next A/C installation to help keep these costs down. These features include:

  • Thermal expansion valve
  • Variable-speed air handler
  • Fan-only switch
  • Filter-check light
  • Automatic-delay fan switch

Here’s a little more about the valuable thermal expansion valve.

Every air conditioner has a method for metering refrigerant. If it’s not a thermal expansion valve, it’s a fixed orifice or capillary tube. But these less advanced options can’t change size the way a thermal expansion valve does. Imagine if your eyes didn’t have pupils to dim or brighten light; it’s that extra control that your new A/C stands to benefit from if it comes with a thermal expansion valve.


  • Precise cooling: Peak performance and efficiency is accomplished when cooling demand meets the air conditioner’s cooling capacity. Unfortunately, demand changes all the time, what with changes in the weather and indoor activities that generate heat and humidity. The thermal expansion valve counters these changes by opening wider when demand rises and constricting when cooling needs diminish.
  • Energy savings: The primary reason to seek a high-efficiency A/C with a thermal expansion valve is the potential for profound energy savings. Even if your system was installed with an improper refrigerant charge, it’s easier for the air conditioner to perform at its advertised SEER rating with a thermal expansion valve to expand and contract on demand.
  • Protection for the compressor: Fixed orifices and capillary tubes don’t have the ability to change size. That means when cooling demand rises, the evaporator coil can be starved of refrigerant and work far less efficiently. What’s worse is when cooling demand is minimal but refrigerant floods the coil anyway. This can cause the liquid refrigerant to reach the compressor and possibly damage it. Thus, a thermal expansion valve protects the compressor.

For more information on advanced A/C features, please contact Overland Park Heating & Cooling in Kansas City today.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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