How does car AC work? It’s a question that many people don’t think about, but it’s an important one. Your car’s air conditioning is what keeps you cool on hot summer days. But how does it work? In this blog post, we’ll explain how car AC works and what goes into keeping your car cool.
What are AC System Refrigerants?
All air conditioning systems, including those in cars, use a refrigerant. This is a substance that helps to transfer heat. In your car, the refrigerant is usually a gas at room temperature but can be transformed into a liquid when it’s compressed.
As the refrigerant passes through the AC system, it goes through a process of evaporation and condensation. This means that it changes from a liquid to a gas and back again. The refrigerant is what helps to remove heat from the air inside your car.
Car AC System Parts
There are several parts to a car AC system, including:
The AC compressor runs from a pulley that is connected to the engine crankshaft by a belt. This drives 5-10 pistons (depending on version). They take in low-pressure, low-temperature gas and compress it into high-pressure, high-temperature gas.
Whether the AC compressor receives power from the crankshaft is controlled by the compressor clutch. This gas is then sent to the next component of the car’s air conditioning system, the condenser.
The condenser is a radiator-like component. It’s usually located in front of the car’s main radiator. The job of the condenser is to cool the compressed gas from the compressor. This gas is transformed into a liquid as it passes through the tubes and fins of the condenser.
The now-liquid refrigerant is then sent to the expansion valve.
Dryer or Accumulator
The dryer or accumulator is located between the condenser and the expansion valve. Its job is to remove any moisture from the refrigerant. The moisture can cause corrosion inside the air conditioning system, so it’s important to remove it before it can cause any damage.
The expansion valve is the next component in the car AC system.
The job of the expansion valve is to release the refrigerant into the evaporator at a controlled rate. The amount of refrigerant that is released is based on the temperature inside the car. If it’s hot outside, more refrigerant will be released. If it’s cold outside, less refrigerant will be released.
The expansion valve is located between the condenser and the evaporator.
The evaporator is located inside the car, usually near the dash. It looks like a small radiator. The job of the evaporator is to cool the air inside the car. As the refrigerant passes through the evaporator, it changes from a liquid to a gas. This gas absorbs the heat from the air, cooling it down.
The cooled air is then sent into the car through the vents.
How Does AC Work in a Car?
High Pressure Stage
Air conditioning in a car works using the same basic principles as a regular household air conditioner, but on a much smaller scale. The system uses a gas called a refrigerant to cool and pressurize the air inside the car. In the past, Freon was used as the refrigerant, but it was discovered that it harms the ozone layer. As a result, Freon production in the US was banned and cars produced after 1996 require R-134a or HFC-134a instead.
The compressor is powered by a belt connection to the engine’s crankshaft and pressurizes the refrigerant. The system’s condenser then acts like a radiator to cool down and turn the gas into liquid form.
Low Pressure Stage
The refrigerant is cooled and put through expansion tubes in the first stage of the low-pressure process. This expansion valve is one of the more commonly serviced pieces of a vehicle’s A/C unit. The evaporator is located underneath the dashboard and functions to convert the cooled liquid back into a gas. The liquid boils refrigerant to create a cold gas, which is then pushed out of the evaporator.
The evaporator is located inside the car and looks like a small radiator. The refrigerant passes through it and picks up heat from the air in the cabin. This process cools the air and makes it feel more comfortable inside the car on a hot day. Finally, the refrigerant gas is sent back to the compressor to start the cycle all over again.
Common AC System Failures
There are a few things that can go wrong with your car’s air conditioning system. The most common problem is that the system is low on refrigerant. This can be caused by a leak in the system. If your system is low on refrigerant, it will need to be recharged.
Another common problem is that the compressor clutch has failed. The compressor clutch is what turns the compressor on and off. If it fails, the compressor will not be able to turn on and the system will not work.
The final common problem is that the expansion valve is stuck open. This can cause the system to overcool the air inside the car. It can also cause damage to the evaporator.
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How Often Should Car Air Conditioning Be Serviced?
Car air conditioning should be serviced at least once a year. This will help to keep the system working properly and prevent problems from developing. If you live in a hot climate, you may need to have your system serviced more often.
Some carmakers recommend that the system be serviced every two years. However, this is not always necessary. If you notice that your system is not working as well as it should, or if it needs to be recharged more often than normal, it may be time for a service.
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FAQs About How Does Car Air Conditioning Work?
Does the car AC use fuel?
No, the car AC does not use fuel. It is powered by a belt that is connected to the engine’s crankshaft.
How does a car AC make cold air?
The car AC makes cold air by using a gas called a refrigerant. The refrigerant is pressurized and cooled by the compressor. The cooled refrigerant is then passed through the expansion valve where it expands and evaporates. The evaporator is located inside the car and absorbs heat from the air in the cabin, cooling it down.
Does car AC use outside air?
No, car AC does not use outside air. It uses recirculated air from inside the car.
What runs the AC in a car?
The compressor is what runs the AC in a car. It is powered by a belt that is connected to the engine’s crankshaft.
Answer The Question hope this post helped clear some things up for you. If not, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions you have. And, of course, if your car’s AC isn’t working right, give us a call and we’ll get it fixed up in no time. While you’re waiting for your appointment, make sure to check out our other blog posts – there might be something else that catches your interest!