We usually don’t think about our air conditioning system until it fails us. Suddenly, it’s much less comfortable to drive during those hot summer months.
Here at Master Muffler, we know that summer in Ogden can get boiling. Keep cool in your car by taking good care of your air conditioning. We offer comprehensive A/C checks so that you can be sure you’ll be comfortable wherever the road takes you.
Getting to Know Your Car’s A/C
Most air conditioning systems operate using a similar process. Freon (also known as a refrigerant) is circulated through the system, compressed and expanded in turn to create a cooling effect which is wafted into your car’s cabin with a circulation fan. Modern systems utilize R-134A freon, because it’s much safer for the environment than the old R-12, which was used in older cars.
Freon is used as a refrigerant in air conditioning systems because it has a low boiling point, and a high condensation point. This means that when it’s transformed from liquid to vapor, it has a rapid cooling effect, absorbing heat from the air that blows across the evaporator before that same air is blown out through the vents. Because the system is so dependent on compression and expansion, it’s important for any leaks to be sealed up, so the pressure doesn’t drop.
The Air Conditioning Cycle
Each part of your car’s air conditioning system has an essential place in the cycle. Here’s a step-by-step process to help you understand:
- First, vapor refrigerant is compressed in the compressor. This is the part of the A/C system which is attached to and powered by the engine, so as it compresses the refrigerant, it provides the energy needed to power the whole system.
- Next, the compressed refrigerant (still in vapor form) rotates to the condenser, which cools the refrigerant until it’s able to be condensed into liquid form.
- In liquid form, the refrigerant goes through the receiver-drier, whose job it is to filter and purify the refrigerant, removing any particles, water, or debris that could harm the rest of the system.
- Next, the condensed refrigerant enters the low-pressure phase. Some cars have a thermal expansion valve, others have an orifice tube. Both have the same job: to control the flow of the refrigerant and allow it to expand into the low-pressure zone.
- Refrigerant is allowed to fully evaporate and expand as it goes into the evaporator. This is the moment of glory, when rapid expansion and evaporation quickly cools the air. This cooled air on the other side of the evaporator is blown by a circulation fan through the air vents in your cabin.
- Next, refrigerant flows back into the compressor, to start the cycle all over again.
Here at Master Muffler, we have the experience and expertise to identify problems in your A/C system. Whether you simply need to stop up a leak in a hose or connection tube, or you have to replace one of the component parts of the system, we can give you effective service in a practical time frame, for a great value.
Give us a call, or bring your car in to our Ogden location today.