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Ode to the Air Conditioner- How We Came to Comfort in Our Cars

POR: Alex Perrone

woman cooling in car

While summer may be winding down, it doesn’t mean that your car can’t get hotter than a demon’s breath! Thank goodness for the invention of air conditioning. In the case of winter or just generally colder days, you car’s heating system is designed to keep you warm and comfortable. Likewise, you car’s air conditioning system is for keeping you nice and cool and comfortable in particularly heated days. These two systems share a lot of the same parts.

Today as an ode to our hot summer days we’re going over how air conditioners work as well as why they’re important.

First thing is first, the air conditioner is made up of the following components:

air conditioning system car

  • Refrigerant
  • Compressor
  • Condenser
  • Receiver drier
  • Expansion valve or orifice tube
  • Evaporator, lines, accumulator ad the same HVAC components for heating.

Much like how the heating system works, the AC is based in the internal combustion engine. Combustion generates heat and that heat exits your vehicle via the exhaust system. Any gets dissipated and regulated by water and coolant (antifreeze) which is always moving through the engine block and radiator. That’s why your car has a water pump.

All together this entire process simultaneously cools off the engine while allowing heat to be generated throughout the cabin.

After your car’s engine is warm enough, a thermostat system regulates the coolant temperature. This works via a valve which controls the flow of hot coolant that goes through the heater core. It’s a system of cables combined with electronic actuator that manage everything.

Some vehicles still use the simple rotary knob and lever system to control in internal climate and position of the airflow. Others electronics and digital or touch screen controls but the process and purpose remains the same.

That’s how your car can be cooled:

It’s actually your blower motor and fan that’s changes the climate of your car. You basically adjust the different speeds and rate at which the air enters the cabin. That is how the heat becomes cold you’re your typical modern car passes all the air through a cabin filter designed to clean pollen, dust, smog, mold spores, dirt and so on from the air in your car.

Your air conditioner and heaters don’t just keep you cool or hot, they keep you breathing cleanly.

fresh air-car

Remember to always have your car’s heating and air conditioning systems inspected regularly. You shouldn’t have to wait for coolant or refrigerant leak or improper heating or cooling. Other telltale signs could be inconsistent air flow or volume into the cabin and unusual smells. Any of these signs could mean it’s time to take your car to the shop.

Air conditioning and heating systems eventually break down over time. That’s why companies like us, Endurance often offer plans to help finance the repair of AC/Heating. Don’t let those repair bills get extra heated, any ASE certified technician can and should inspect your vehicle’s heater and air conditioning systems at least once a year. Be doubly sure to replace your vehicle’s cabin air filter as your manufacturer recommends.

If your heater and air conditioning systems are well maintained you should not only have peace of mind on the road, but that drive should be safer and way more comfortable!

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