The air conditioning system you have in your car functions in a very similar way to the air conditioning unit you have in your home, and features many of the same types of mechanical components. If you have a sense of how your home AC system works, you already have a general idea of how it works in your vehicle. There are even some parts you can service yourself without having to call for the assistance of a mechanic in New Palestine, IN, if you’re interested in doing so.
Basically, your system uses an inert gas inside a sealed system and pressurizes it with the compressor. The more that gas gets pressurized, the hotter it gets, as it absorbs energy from the space around it. Then, that hot gas gets put through a series of tubes where its heat dissipates, returning the gas to a liquid coolant form that can then be circulated back through the system. The process of absorbing heat from one area (the cabin of your vehicle) and pushing it to an outdoor space before bringing cool air back in is the general basis of how air conditioning works.
Here are just a few of the most important components of this system:
- Condenser: The condenser is essentially a small radiator that is placed at the front of your car, located right next to your larger radiator. It may or may not have its own electric cooling fan, depending on the vehicle. This is the part where the compressed air runs through to get cooler and dissipate the heat it’s carrying. The component condenses the gas back into a cooled liquid before propelling it back through the system.
- Compressor: As mentioned above, the compressor is the primary component of the air conditioning system, as it’s what pressurizes the refrigerant so it can absorb heat. Without this compressed gas, your system cannot absorb heat and cool the air in your vehicle.
- Evaporator: Another type of small radiator, the evaporator essentially performs the exact opposite task of the condenser. When the cool liquid flows through the tubes of the evaporator, air is forced through it and it gets chilled before it blows into your cabin. Then, once the liquid refrigerant starts to warm up again, it “evaporates” back into a gas and continues on with its circulation processes.
- Dryer: Your system’s compressor has been designed to only compress the gas form of the refrigerant, but in some cases there’s a chance some liquid could come back through to the dryer, which gets this liquid before it’s able to damage the compressor. This prevents small leaks from bringing moisture into the system, and also filters out contaminants before they can get in and affect the system in any way.
- Expansion valve: This valve controls the flow of refrigerant to the evaporator, allowing you to control how cold the air coming into your vehicle gets.
For more information about your vehicle’s AC system, contact a mechanic in New Palestine, IN at Auto Air & Heating, Inc. today.
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