How does a car’s air conditioning system work?

I just had my car’s air conditioning serviced, and the mechanic explained what he had to fix or replace, but it was confusing and a bit too complex for me to understand. However, I am curious, how does a car’s air conditioning system work?

Answer
Most people now take air conditioning for granted in their car and don’t pay it any mind. However, it’s an interesting process that works by manipulating a refrigerant between a liquid and gaseous state.
Below are the major components and the process that results in a cooled car:
  • The compressor is the unit’s power system and separates the low-pressure side from the high-pressure side. It is mounted towards the front of the engine, takes in low-pressure gas, and compresses it into a high-pressure and high-temperature gas.
  • The condenser is mounted behind the grill and uses forced air to reduce the gaseous refrigerant’s temperature and turn it into a liquid while maintaining high pressure.
  • The dryer or receiver is mounted on the high-pressure side of the system and removes water from the refrigerant.
  • The metering device is an expansion valve or fixed orifice tube located on the high-pressure side of the system that lowers the refrigerant pressure and temperature. The refrigerant leaves in liquid form.
  • The evaporator is mounted inside the passenger compartment and causes a cooling effect by changing the refrigerant back into a gaseous state.
  • The cabin air is cooled and dried as it blows across the evaporator.
Understanding how a car’s air conditioning system works is pretty cool (pun intended), but what’s even cooler is saving money. If you want to save money on car insurance, the Jerry app is a good place to start. A licensed broker, Jerry does all the hard work of finding cheap quotes from the top name-brand insurance companies and buying new car insurance. Jerry will even help you cancel your old policy.
Jack Walsh
Answered on Nov 24, 2021
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