Updated at: 04-04-2022 - By: micdot

How does the air conditioning in automobiles function? Here’s a step-by-step explanation on how to properly maintain your car’s air conditioner.If you’re looking for an expert on this subject, you’ve come to the right place. On our website, you may find out more. You click the AC button and are greeted with a delightful blast of cool air. For most automobile owners, the AC system is an enigma. However, what goes on behind the scenes is quite interesting and complex.How does a car’s air conditioning system operate?

Refrigerant is cycled through an AC system multiple times, first as a gas, then as a liquid, and finally back again. As soon as the evaporator completes its cycle, it turns into a chilly gas, which is subsequently cooled by being exposed to outside air before being transported to the cabin.Are you willing to dig a little deeper now?

Here, we’ll go through how each of the AC system’s five primary components uses refrigerants to chill the outside air before it enters the passenger compartment.

Let’s get this party started!

A Quick Note About Freon And R-12

A principal refrigerant for most automotive air conditioning systems until January 2020 was Freon (commonly known as R-22). As a result of its harm to the ecosystem, Export and production of Freon have been prohibited by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). As a replacement, the ozone-friendly Refrigerant-12 (R-12) has been approved for use in automobile air conditioning systems. Recycled Freon will be available for a little longer if you have an older vehicle that was not meant to use R-12.

Your AC System Explained – The Cycle Of Refrigerant

The High-Pressure Side

The Refrigeration Cycle - In easy to understand descriptions & diagrams!

Step 1: Compressor

The crankshaft of your engine drives an AC compressor through a pulley and a belt. This can power up to ten pistons (depending on the design). A high-pressure, high temperature gas is formed by sucking in low-pressure gas and compressing it. The compressor clutch determines whether or not the AC compressor is powered by the crankshaft. The condenser, the next part of the automotive air conditioning system, receives this gas.

Step 2: Condenser

In order to cool down the condensing unit, pressurized refrigerant must first pass through the compressor. As the name implies, it’s purpose is to remove heat from the AC system. Basically, this portion acts like an in-built radiator, allowing the gas to radiate heat outward as it passes through.Additionally, air is circulating around the condenser and so cools the refrigerant. Because of this, it condenses, which lowers its temperature and returns it to a high-pressure liquid. The receiver/dryer is the next stage in the process.

Step 3: Receiver/Dryer

There are inlet and outlet points on the receiver/dryer. The condenser’s inlet point delivers high-pressure liquid through a series of filters and desiccants before it reaches the input point. If you’ve never heard of a desiccant before, it’s a material that wicks away moisture. This is the same material that is used to keep shoes and pharmaceuticals fresh and dry in products like these. The desiccants remove moisture from the system and the filters remove debris that could harm the system, such as dust, dirt, and metal particles. What is the purpose of dehumidification?

Because when the refrigerant reaches the expansion valve, it’s cold enough that it might freeze. As a result, an AC system that doesn’t function properly could be the outcome of this. The exit point is used to deliver the refrigerant to the expansion valve. The high-pressure side of the AC system has been completed.

The Low Pressure Side

Low Side Service Port - Find it easily with this Diagram

Step 4: Expansion Valve/Orifice Tube

The AC system’s expansion valve is essentially a thermostat that regulates how much refrigerant may flow through the system. You can compare it to a hose nozzle in that high-pressure water is sprayed out and expands into a fine mist as it passes through. Pressure is decreased as the refrigerant is rapidly cooled. An accumulator takes the place of the receiver dryer in an AC system with an orifice tube. Unlike a receiver dryer, this one sits between the evaporator and compressor rather than between the evaporator and the condenser. An orifice tube has a fixed aperture, but an expansion valve does not. The latter, meanwhile, is capable of adjusting its opening in response to changes in the evaporator’s temperature. A low-pressure and low-temperature state of the refrigerant has now been reached, making it ready to chill your passengers. However, the evaporator is a prerequisite.

Step 5: Evaporator

Unlike a radiator or condenser, the evaporator consists of pipes through which refrigerant flows. Instead of releasing heat, this process absorbs it, bringing the temperature down to 32 degrees. Although water freezes at a temperature of 32 degrees Fahrenheit, the refrigerant heats up. By doing so, it returns to its original state of being a gas, which allows it to take in even more heat. When the gas returns to the AC compressor, the cycle repeats. When the AC is running, how does the cold air get into the car’s air vents? A fan blows fresh air over the refrigerant as it sits in the evaporator. As a result of the decreased ambient temperature, it begins to cool. When you open the door, you’ll be greeted by a cool and invigorating wind from your air-conditioned cabin.

How Does A Car AC System Work?

As far as I know, you may have assumed it was a form of magic at first. If you’ve made it this far through the book, you should have a better understanding of how your car’s air conditioning system works.

How does a car Air Conditioner work?