As the summer heats up, you rely more on your vehicle's air conditioning system for comfortable driving. But if you're not an automotive air conditioning expert, the odds are you don't know exactly how the system works. Here are the basics:
A/C systems remove heat and humidity from the air to provide greater passenger comfort. When warm air is pulled into the air circulation system, it is cooled and conditioned as it flows over the evaporator fins. The cold refrigerant in the evaporator absorbs heat. This absorbed heat is then rejected through the condenser to the outside air. The compressor moves the refrigerant through the system. When the refrigerant flows through the condenser, the condenser operates much like the radiator. Heat is released through the fins of the condenser in the same manner that heat from the engine coolant leaves the radiator. The refrigerant then returns to the evaporator where it absorbs heat from inside the vehicle and then the cycle repeats itself.
In addition to heat, humidity is also removed from the air. As the air passes over the evaporator fins, moisture condenses on the fins and flows out of the vehcile through the evaporator drain. The moisture condensing on the fins traps dirt and pollen and helps clean the passenger compartment air.
If your vehicle displays any of the symptoms below, have it inspected by the technicians at Superior Auto Service.
- The air blowing out of the vents is cool, but not as cold as it used to be
- Perfomance is spotty or intermittent - it will blow cold, but seems to cut out for a while before blowing cold again
- The floor is inexplicably wet (the condensation drain hole may be clogged)
- Excessive noise when the air conditioning is on
- Odor - if it smells like a musty gym locker when the A/C is on, have the system inspected right away for mold or mildew that likes to grow in dark, damp places like the evaporator case.
Your Superior Auto Service technician can perform the inspection and necessary repairs on your vehicle's air conditioning system. It's the sure-fire way to keep cool this summer!