Main components of your vehicle’s air conditioning system

At this time of year, you might not give your air conditioning system much thought. However, as we move into spring, it can be important to test your air conditioning and make sure that it is in good working order in preparation for summer. But what are the main components of your vehicle’s air conditioning system? And how important are these different components?

What are the main components of your vehicle’s air conditioning system?

There are a number of vital components that make up your vehicles air conditioning system. These components each play an important role in the functionality of the air conditioning system. These different components include:

  • The compressor- this is often referred to as the heart of the AC system. This is responsible for compressing and circulating the refrigerant gas throughout the system, to cool the car.¬† As the refrigerant flows through the compressor, it undergoes a phase change from gas to high-pressure liquid, which can raise its temperature in the process, which is why the condenser is important. The compressor is driven by the engine via a belt.
  • The condenser- this is located at the front of the vehicle, usually mounted near the radiator. Its primary function is to dissipate heat from the compressed refrigerant, causing it to condense back into a liquid state. This process releases heat into the surrounding air, which is why you may notice warm air blowing out from under the bonnet when the AC is running.
  • The receiver/dryer- as the condensed refrigerant leaves the condenser, it passes through the receiver/dryer. This component serves multiple purposes. Firstly, it acts as a storage tank for the liquid refrigerant, while also removing any moisture or contaminants from the system. In addition, this component also contains a desiccant to absorb any remaining moisture.
  • The expansion valve- also known as the orifice tube, the expansion valve is located between the receiver/dryer and the evaporator. Its primary function is to regulate the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator, where it undergoes a rapid expansion, causing a drop in pressure and temperature. This phase change allows the refrigerant to absorb heat from the cabin air, cooling it down in the process.
  • The evaporator- This is typically located inside the passenger compartment, often behind the dashboard. It acts as a heat exchanger, where the cold, low-pressure refrigerant absorbs heat from the warm air passing over its coils. This process cools down the air, which is then blown into the car by the blower fan.
  • The blower fan- also known as the HVAC (Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning) fan, this is responsible for circulating air throughout the vehicle. It draws air from outside or recirculates air from inside the vehicle, passing it over the evaporator and then through the vents into the car. The speed of the fan can usually be adjusted to control the airflow rate.

Here at MRS Heat Transfer we are radiator, car heater, intercooler, and air conditioning experts, and we have the skills, knowledge and expertise to resolve any air conditioning or car heater problem. Why not get in touch today to find out more?