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What is head pressure HVAC?

By Farrukh Jhanzaib
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Does this question strike your mind; what is head pressure HVAC? Head pressure is normally the pressure that a compressor makes in air conditioning, refrigeration, and heating systems. Head pressure in a normal range is not an issue, but a high head pressure is always an issue for your system. 

The compressor in an HVAC system has a very crucial role. It circulates the refrigerants throughout the system such that it transfers the refrigerant to the evaporating coil and the condensing coil. This smooth flow of refrigerants guarantees a balanced level of head pressure. That’s how the heat from your house is transferred outside. 


Now you will wonder what happens when the head pressure level increases.


What happens when head pressure fluctuates?

Well, balanced head pressure is an indication of a smooth flow of refrigerants. If the pressure is too high or too low, this means the flow of refrigerants is disturbed. 


If the proper flow of refrigerants is disturbed, this means the heat in the house is not being expelled properly. You know what happens next? The compressor has to overwork to keep cooling the temperature. 


So, if you don’t look for leaks, the high head pressure will burst the compressor with extra work. This can damage your entire system. 


Why do we have high head pressure?

Well, there are multiple reasons behind the imbalance in head pressure, and we will discuss them in detail. 


  • Dirty condenser coils are one of the reasons that the head pressure is high. The accumulation of dust and dirt stops the smooth flow of refrigerants because of the inefficiency of the coils. That’s why you have high head pressure. 


  • A high outdoor ambient temperature is another reason that you may have a high head pressure. 


  • Dirty filters and contaminated air can also affect the head pressure. 


  • Refrigerant leaks are another cause of the high head pressure. If the refrigerants are leaking somewhere else, this will reduce the process of heat extraction from the house. Eventually, you will see a high head pressure. 


  • Contamination of compressor valves also leads to high head pressure. 


How can we control the head pressure?

Following these steps can help you control the head pressure.


  • By controlling the condenser fan speed:

Controlling the air flow to the condenser coil reduces the heat exchange that is effective in maintaining the head pressure. 


  • By installing pressure-regulating valves:

Another way of controlling the head pressure is to install the pressure-regulating valves. 


These valves are responsible for high discharge pressure, resulting in the flooding of the condenser with liquid. This way, the refrigerants do not flash in a liquid line. 




We hope that you’ve learned something useful about head pressure. 

The balance of head pressure is surely important for the smooth functioning of the entire HVAC system. 

You’ve also read about the importance of maintaining the head pressure and; moreover, what causes high head pressure. 

Follow the instructions in the last portion of the article to avoid high head pressure in the system. 

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