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Auto-air conditioning: what, how and why

Your auto air conditioning system is crucial in keeping you warm in the winter and cool in the summer. What would Sydney do without it?

Auto air conditioning systems need maintenance and care. If it is not maintained well, the system may be diagnosed with a costly, possibly irreversible, problem. This is why it is essential to understand how auto air conditioning systems work.

History: automotive air conditioning systems make their way into Sydney

Air conditioning systems nowadays are a standard in every single car sold all over the world. However, this wasn’t always the case.

In earlier days of motoring, vehicles were usually open-bodied. Therefore manufacturers believed it wasn’t necessary for any systems. As cars evolved into closed-bodied, people started to research into different ways to develop a cooling system.

Believe it or not, the first automotive air conditioning system was developed in 1939. One of the first air conditioning units were installed as an ‘extra’ in cars and were known as a weather conditioner. This was an additional part of the vehicle and had to be ordered separately. The first trial of the air conditioner was unsuccessful and therefore discontinued after 1941. This was primarily due to the mechanical problems and repairs needed.

Following World War II, other independent manufacturers started to install aftermarket air conditioning units in all makes of cars. These were quite an expensive option. However, cheaper alternatives such as the car cooler became extremely popular, especially in areas with low humidity. These products were powered through the car’s cigarette lighter and operated with water/ice and a fan.

Throughout the 1950’s auto air conditioning systems gained popularity, and several manufacturers began to offer them in their vehicles. The auto air conditioning system skyrocketed and increased in popularity throughout the 1960s. It was one of the first times drivers could change the temperature of the system and adjust how they would like it.

Throughout the 1970s there was substantial environmental concern around the use of auto air conditioning systems. This pushed for a change in the materials used, and the air conditioning system continued to drive innovation and technological advancements.

Today, our auto air conditioning systems continue to advance and develop. There is still much debate over the environmental impacts of the system. However, research has been implemented to ensure the future of auto air conditioning systems is environmentally friendly, contributing to a sustainable future.

A basic overview of auto air conditioning for Sydney drivers

Your car’s air conditioning system is a uniquely designed fridge intended to move heat from inside your vehicle to the outside. It not only cools the air down but reduces moisture and humidity.

All auto air conditioning systems  are made up of a range of other components including:

Compressor

This is one of the main components of the auto air conditioning system. As soon as the air conditioning system is turned on, the compressor pumps refrigerant vapour under high pressure to the condenser.

Condenser

This tool is used to change the high-pressure refrigerant vapour to liquid. It is condensed to a liquid due to the high pressure driving it in, therefore generating heat.

Receiver

The liquid refrigerant moves to the receiver-dryer, removing any moisture and other containments that may have leaked into the coolant.

Expansion Valve

The valve separates pressure from the liquid refrigerant so it can expand and become refrigerant vapour in the evaporator.

During auto air conditioning services, there is much more involved than a simple check. Rather it includes:

  • Checking the temperature of the auto air conditioning system
  • Checking the pressure levels of the auto air conditioning system
  • Inspection of any leaks
  • Recovering all gas from the air conditioning system
  • Pressure test
  • Evacuating the auto air conditioning system
  • Re-gassing the system

If necessary, you may also need a replacement cabin/pollen filter.

Many people think auto air conditioning systems can just be topped up if low on gas. However, this is not possible. Doing so can damage the ozone layer and harm the environment.

If your automotive air conditioning system is leaking, placing more gas will only release more harmful refrigerant into the atmosphere. An automotive air conditioning service in Sydney will thoroughly inspect and repair any leaks back in the system.

Automotive air conditioning servicers explain common problems

One of the most common reasons an auto air conditioning system stops operating is because of low gas. The air conditioning system is a completely sealed unit. If the system is low on gas, it usually means there is a leak or fault somewhere in the system.

Some of the most common issues people have are:

  • Auto air conditioning systems not blowing cold air
  • Odour coming from the vents
  • Fluid leaking
  • Uneven air pressure and weak airflow

There are usually several different causes for these issues, including damaged components, electrical faults, blocked valves and many more.

If you are experiencing any of these issues, it is time to contact an auto-electrician.

At Electroworx, we provide auto air conditioning services and ensure our work is carried out to meet high levels of environmental standards. Our experienced technicians guarantee a seamless process assisting you with your issue.

Don’t let your auto air conditioning burn out. Contact us today on 1300 824 692 to see how we can help.

27 August 2019

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