Your Vehicle’s A/C System

Hot weather is heading our way once again! On the first hot day, uncomfortably shifting in your seat, you turn on that long-neglected AC knob, only to discover an unwelcome blast of warm air streaming out from the vents. A bad situation made worse: that’s when you call Douglas Automotive Repair, your air conditioning service and repair specialists.car-air-conditioning-cold-air-220

Schedule an appointment to have your vehicle checked out—we understand all aspects of AC repair, from modern computerized components to environmental disposal concerns. To help you understand how your vehicle’s AC system works, the following is a brief schematic of some of the basic components that comprise this system:

Compressor:
  • The compressor is a belt-driven device that derives its name from compressing refrigerant gas and transferring it into the condenser. While basically acting as a simple pump, the compressor is the core of your vehicle’s air conditioning system.
Condenser:
  • The condenser’s primary function is to cool the refrigerant. It is a heat dissipating apparatus that radiates heat released by compressed gases and condenses them into high pressure liquids. The location of your condenser depends on how new your car is, but typically it’s found at the front of the vehicle, directly in front of the engine cooling radiator.
Receiver (Drier):
  • The receiver is a metal container that serves as a storage receptacle for the refrigerant. It’s also referred to as a drier because it absorbs moisture from the refrigerant and filters out particles of debris and harmful acids that would otherwise harm your AC system. It’s commonly located on the liquid line of the AC system.
Orifice Tube/Expansion Valve:
  • The orifice tube (also known as the expansion valve) is a controlling mechanism that regulates the flow of refrigerant throughout the system. In addition to this, it also converts high pressure liquid refrigerant (from the condenser) into a low pressure liquid, so that it can enter the evaporator. Generally located at the evaporator inlet, the orifice tube could also be found between the condenser and the evaporator, or in the outlet of the condenser.
Evaporator:
  • The evaporator is designed to remove heat from the inside of your vehicle; therefore it’s a heat exchanger that’s vital to your vehicle’s AC system (not to mention your comfort). The evaporator allows the refrigerant to absorb heat, causing it to boil and change into a vapor. When this occurs, the vapor is removed from the evaporator by the compressor, cooling your car and reducing humidity. Because the evaporator houses the most refrigerant in this heat transfer process, it is the most susceptible to corrosion by harmful acids.

Call Douglas Automotive Repair if you have questions, or you think your air conditioning isn’t working up to snuff. We’d be happy to check  it out for you.

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