Air conditioning systems are fantastic when they are working well and often ignored until they are not doing their job. Air conditioning systems do require ongoing maintenance including:
- Running the system at least weekly in non-summer months to keep gas and oil circulating through the system which helps extend the life of seals in the system
- Servicing the system annually and replacing the receiver dryer every 2 years
- Ensuring the drive belt is adjusted and in good condition.
Remember your air conditioning system does not only cool your vehicle. Another of its primary functions is to remove the humidity from the cabin. So it is good practice to use your air conditioner in winter to keep your windscreen free of fog which impairs your visibility.
The air conditioning process explained.
Wet your finger and wave it in the air. What you are feeling is a refrigeration effect. When a liquid turns to a vapour it absorbs heat. In this case it is sucking the heat out of your finger. The opposite is also true. If that vapour then loses that heat, it will turn back into a liquid.
In a refrigeration system, we force a liquid to become a vapour in the evaporator, thus absorbing heat from the refrigerated space. We then use a compressor to pump that vapour to the condenser. In the condenser we force that vapour to reject the heat and thus turn back into a liquid so that it is re-used. The liquid is then metred back into the evaporator to complete the loop and do it all over again.