Your car’s air conditioning system is essential to your comfort during the warmer months. After all, the average American spends over an hour and a half in the car per day!
Here at Master Muffler, we understand how you rely on your car. Whether you’re embarking on a summer road trip, commuting into the city for work, or shuttling kids to and from school, you need your air conditioning to work as hard as you do.
Stay cool with air conditioning repair and servicing from our Master Muffler team in Bountiful. We can make sure that you’re getting optimal performance from your system to keep your car running smoothly.
How Air Conditioners Work
Air conditioners, whether they’re in your car or your home, almost always work the same way. They utilize the rapid cooling of unpressurized refrigerants to produce cooled air. However, cycling refrigerant from a pressurized to an unpressurized state, and then back again, takes a lot of cooperative components.
But before we go into the parts of the system, let’s talk a little bit about refrigerant, which is probably the most important part of your air conditioning system. The refrigerant currently used in almost all air conditioning systems is R-134A, chosen because of its low evaporation temperature and high condensation point. Because of this, R-134A rapidly expands, allowing it to quickly absorb heat from the air, thereby cooling it to the refreshing temperatures we enjoy.
An air conditioner depends on the pressure caused by compression and expansion, and so it’s important that it’s a closed system. Even a tiny leak of air will change the function of your air conditioning system. Here are the steps to an air conditioning cycle:
- Refrigerant in vapor form is pressurized in the compressor.
- From there, it moves (still in vapor form) to the condenser, which cools the pressurized refrigerant enough to bring it to a pressurized, condensed, liquid state.
- Next, the remover-drier filters the refrigerant to remove any water or debris.
- The filtered liquid refrigerant now moves to the thermal expansion valve (or the orifice tube, depending on your system) in order to relieve pressure and allow for expansion.
- Full expansion of the refrigerant happens as it moves along the evaporator, which allows for rapid cooling. Airblown by a fan wafts cooled air into the car.
- Next, the now-vaporous refrigerant is brought back into the compressor to begin the cycle again.
Common Problems with a Car’s A/C
Since the air conditioning system is optional, it doesn’t affect the safety of your car. However, a compromised air conditioning system can tax your engine, and certainly mess up your day. Here are some of the most common problems we see:
- Leaks: Your air conditioning system often winds around the entire engine. Considering how important it is to maintain pressure, even a tiny leak can cause a problem. Identifying the origin of a leak is usually the hardest part of fixing an A/C system.
- Low refrigerant: Proper levels of refrigerant are needed in order to keep the system running fluidly. Recharging refrigerant is harder than replacing other fluids; one must carefully monitor pressure and keep the system closed.
- Bad smells: It might seem like a silly problem, until you start getting allergies in your car. During the winter, microbial growth can occur in the system, which needs to be flushed in order to restore clean, fresh air.
Come in today for an A/C tuneup so that you can enjoy the summer in style!