How Does An Air Conditioning System Work?

Your vehicle’s air conditioning system is a complex collection of components that all need to work efficiently to provide you with a comfortable and enjoyable driving experience. To help you to understand your air conditioning system and what’s required for it to perform at its best, we’ve created a guide to help answer some of the most common air conditioning questions.

What components make up my vehicle’s air conditioning system?

Typical air conditioning systems in automobiles consist of eight essential elements which include;

  1. Condenser
  2. Dryer
  3. Receiver
  4. Lines
  5. Expansion valve
  6. Compressor
  7. Evaporator
  8. Blower

How can air conditioning be beneficial in my vehicle?

In warmer climates, air conditioning can help to chill your car to a comfortable level. Blowing out cooler air, air conditioning can help you to enjoy driving in warm weather and making your car a refreshing change from outside. As well as creating a more comfortable temperature, other benefits of air conditioning include;

  • Reduced misted windows in the winter thanks to producing warm air that has been dehumidified
  • Lower condensation levels to improve visibility levels for added safety
  • Improved conditions for allergy sufferers as air conditioning can help to filter pollutants and particles
  • Cleaner air for enjoyment

Does air conditioning need servicing?

Like any part of a car, servicing is essential to make sure every component is working efficiently. A service ensures it is fully functional by checking for leaks, measuring pressure levels and making sure there is no damage to hoses, pipes and seals. A service will also review the levels of coolant, to make sure your system doesn’t seize up.

Is a recharge different from a service?

With use and age, the effectiveness of your air conditioning can rapidly decrease, as the levels of refrigerant are reduced. It is estimated that air conditioning systems lose around 15% of refrigerant every year. Running the system without the required levels of coolant can damage components and reduce the performance levels. A recharge is recommended every three years to ensure optimal air conditioning and to reduce the risk of expensive air conditioning repairs.

How can I run my air conditioning efficiently?

To lower the temperature in your vehicle as efficiently as possible, start by opening the windows and positioning the air vents to face level, and the system is set to expel air at the level, not at feet level. Ensure the air conditioning system is configured to recirculate and then turn the temperature as low as possible and increase the blower speed to maximum. Shut the windows and let the air conditioning cool the car interior. Once at a comfortable level, set the vents so that they point upwards, as cold air will fall and reduce the blower speed.

Should I run air conditioning throughout winter?

It is important to utilise the air conditioning system at least once a week in your vehicle, even in cold weather, to make sure that the system doesn’t seize up and it continues to perform at its best.