6 Things You Must Know About Your Car’s Air Conditioner

Have a look at these 6 things that you must be aware of to deal with your car AC.

1) Important Air Conditioner Terms

SEER: Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio. Just remember this, higher the SEER, more will be the efficiency of unit, resulting in a lower operating cost.

Blower (Blower Motor): The motor and fan assembly mounted near the evaporator that draws air over the evaporator. In automotive applications, the blower motor may draw outside or inside air, depending on control settings.

Picture Credits: clean-image
Picture Credits: clean-image

Charging: Adding refrigerant to a system.

Flushing: A process of cleaning the internal components of an A/C system. This process requires the removal of refrigerant. This process is used to remove contamination and corrosion from the system.

Compressor: The pump that moves the refrigerant from the indoor evaporator to the outdoor condenser and back to the evaporator again.

Refrigerant Oil: Highly refined oil that is free of contaminants. Used in the A/C system for the sole purpose of maintaining compressor lubrication.

Ductwork: A pipe or conduit through which air is supplied.

Evaporator coil: It is the network of tubes that are filled with refrigerant. It is located inside the home within the indoor unit and takes heat and moisture out of the indoor air when liquid refrigerant evaporates.

Picture Credits: taems


2) How Air Conditioner Works?


Air conditioners use the basic refrigeration process to cool indoor air. However, conditioning is different from refrigeration as it also regulates air humidity, quality, and speed besides the temperature. When a liquid (refrigerant) converts into gas, it absorbs heat, and this is called evaporation or phase conversion. This occurs in the evaporator part of the system. Whereas, when the refrigerant is condensed, it turns back into liquid, and this happens in the condenser. Other key components include expansion valve, compressor, and the collector. Air conditioners use phase conversion by forcing refrigerants to evaporate and condense in a closed system of coils repeatedly.

Here’s a video explaining how the system operates.

3) Purpose Of Air Conditioner Filters

Filters remove particles from the air to keep the dust out of your car AC’s air ducts. Make sure you change your ‘dirt air filter’ every 1-3 months depending on your surroundings and usage. Not changing your air filters can bring problems like dirty air, reduced airflow, increased fuel consumption, low quality of cooling, and frozen coils.

Picture Credits: portkennedyautomotiveservices
Picture Credits: portkennedyautomotiveservices

4) Maintenance Of Air Conditioner

Your air conditioner becomes less efficient, weak, and unreliable when it is not taken care of. This will cause headaches for you and probably increase repair bills in case you ignore it up to the point of busting it.

Just like the rest of your car, your air conditioner needs regular service. If the air conditioner is not running properly, it may be working too hard. This could result in inconsistent air temperatures, heating of the car, and reduced comfort.

If you need more convincing, most manufacturers require routine maintenance for their warranty on the air conditioners to remain valid. So go get your car AC checked up in case you feel it is not working up to the mark.

5) Importance Of Air Ducts

It is important to have your car’s air ducts cleaned and checked for leaks. Sometimes dust or leaves get stuck up in the air ducts, wrecking havoc with your cooling system and the blower. A clean air duct system will help your car AC last longer by removing contaminants that decrease your system’s efficiency and consume more fuel.

6) Increasing Air Conditioner Efficiency

Keeping your air conditioner maintained and tip top is the best thing you can do for its performance and your wallet as well. Sealing leaky ducts, keeping the right refrigerant charge, increasing your thermostat by a few degrees, replacing filters, cleaning coils, using car window tinting, parking in the shadow, insulating the air ducts are all great ways that help to increase the energy efficiency of air conditioner.

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