How AC Works Explained....

The basic components found in a car air conditioner are the compressor, condenser, evaporator, accumulator and expansion valve. Depending on your car, there might be an orifice tube or receiver-drier. All these components have a specific task.

The Compressor

The compressor works the same way in most other air conditioners you might feel throughout your day, but this one is driven by your car engine. It is responsible for compressing a refrigerant gas, often freon. Once the gas is compressed, it becomes very heated and is sent through a set of coils to the condenser.

The Condenser

The condenser is where the heat is separated from the gas. Hot air comes off the top of the condenser, while the rest of the gas is condensed into a cool liquid.

The Receiver-Drier

Cars either have a receiver-drier or an accumulator. This is needed after the condenser to make sure only liquid refrigerant goes to the expansion valve

Expansion Valve

Your car will either have an expansion valve or orifice tube. This is what regulates the flow of liquid to the evaporator and is what you are controlling when you change the temperature settings on your dashboard for your car air conditioner.

The Evaporator

The evaporator is the last stop for the cool liquid before you feel it in your car. After the liquid passes through the expansion valve, fans blow the cool air from the evaporator throughout the car.