The air conditioning unit in your vehicle operates similarly to a refrigerator. Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit is designed to move heat from the inside of your car to outside of it.
Your vehicle’s air conditioning unit has seven major components:
- The refrigerant carries heat. In modern cars, refrigerant is a substance called R-134a. Older cars’ refrigerant is called r-12 freon, which is more expensive and difficult to find than R-134a. New style refrigerant introduced in 2015 R-1234YF which is more efficient and meets new EPA standards for new cars being manufactured.
- The compressor circulates and compresses refrigerant within the vehicle’s cooling system.
- Your vehicle’s condenser changes the refrigerant from gas to liquid and expels heat from the car.
- The expansion valve (sometimes called the orifice tube) is a nozzle that simultaneously drops the pressure of the refrigerant liquid, meter its flow and atomize it.
- Your vehicle’s evaporator transfers heat to the refrigerant from the air blown across it, cooling your car.
- The receiver or dryer filters your vehicle’s refrigerant and oil, removing moisture and other contaminants from them.
- Cabin air filter helps filter the outside air and can become dirty or plugged causing the heating and air conditioning system to not function properly and can cause low air flow through the vents.
When you start your vehicle’s air conditioning system, the compressor works by putting the refrigerant under pressure, sending it to the condensing coils, which are generally in front of your vehicle’s radiator. The condenser expels hot air to outside the car, cooling the air within the vehicle. When this happens, the refrigerant is cooled, and it changes form a gas to a liquid, which then passes through the expansion valve and to the evaporator.
Once the evaporator receives the liquid-state refrigerant, it loses pressure and cools the remaining liquid. The vehicle’s blower moves air across the evaporator and into the vehicle’s interior. If you keep your air conditioning unit turned on, the refrigerant goes through this cycle continuously.
If any of these components is damaged, or low on charge, your vehicle will not cool properly on those hot summer days. Your vehicle’s air conditioning issue could be as simple as topping off refrigerant to replacing a valve. When your air conditioning unit is not working as it should, bring your vehicle to A2Z Complete Car Care. Call to schedule an appointment to have your system inspected by our trained technicians and serviced. Complete list of any issues in the system and estimate for repairs will be provided before any work is performed. Get it done before the summer heat hits.