When facing the sweltering heat outside, it is oh so nice to feel the coolness of your automobile's air conditioning. When it is in good working condition nothing can be better to get away from the hot summer sun but if it breaks down it can be unbearable. Now is your chance to learn the air conditioning basics so you will better comprehend what could be wrong if the system is not working.
The air conditioning system is set up to transfer heat from the interior of your vehicle so that it can redistribute it to the exterior or great outdoors. The whole system has many parts big and small all with their own specific purpose. Here we will look at how the system as a whole works.
The various air conditioning components smoothly work together. The process starts with the refrigerant flowing through compressor. The compressor pulls the refrigerant gas in through the inlet and then pumps it out of the exhaust side to a condenser.
As the gas passes through the condensing coils it discharges heat into the air. This outside air causes the gas to cool. This part of the process causes the refrigerant to lose a lot of heat and thus it condenses into liquid as it leaves the condenser on route to the evaporator.
On the way to the evaporator the refrigerator passes through a valve. This expansion valve regulates the flow of the liquid as it passes into the evaporator or dryer. The evaporator's job is to absorb heat from the car's interior and transport it to the liquid refrigerant using the opposite process as used in the condenser. The heat transferred in this process causes the refrigerant temperature to rise and change from liquid form back into a gas. In other words the refrigerant is under pressure, finds a low pressure and evaporates.
Evaporation uses up a lot of heat energy causing the vapor to get cold.The change from liquid to gas is what causes the temperature to change. The cold gas or vapor cools down the evaporator. A blower pushes air across the cold evaporator and into the interior of the vehicle. This heated gas leaves the evaporator and the cycle starts again.
This smooth process allows you to enjoy cool air to be blown into your vehicle by the click of a switch. When you turn on the blower in your vehicle and have the climate control set to air conditioning you are setting this process in motion. If any part of it breaks down you can end up sitting in the hot summer sun rays instead of the sweet cool air conditioned air.