what is the function of the drier for your ac

What Is The Function Of The Drier For Your A/C?

Driers or receivers are used in an air conditioning system that uses expansion valves. They resemble metal cans with an outlet and an inlet and they are located in the high-pressure section. Usually, driers are located between the expansion valve inlet and condenser outlet. However, some are connected directly to the condenser.

Understanding Drier Functions

They are temporary storage units for the refrigerant and oil when neither is needed for system operation. The term “receiver” is derived from this function since it receives and stores during periods of low cooling demand. A drier is often designed with filters that trap debris that is inside the air conditioning system.

The drier contains a desiccant which is used to absorb any moisture in the air conditioning system. During assembly, manufacturer or service, moisture can get into the air conditioner components and the drier function is to ensure the system remains dry at all times.

What Happens If The Drier Malfunctions

When the drier malfunctions, any excess moisture in the system cannot be absorbed. That means that moisture spreads to other components in the A/C which can cause further damage to the system. When moisture gets to the accumulator, the refrigerant mixes with the air in the moisture and forms corrosive acids. These acids then cause corrosion to hoses and pipes leading to oil and refrigerant leaking.

When To Replace A Drier

Most compressor warranties require a drier to be replaced any time the system is opened for service. The desiccant available in the drier is designed to absorb a certain amount of moisture. When a system is being serviced, the system is opened completely meaning that it is exposed to moisture. The desiccant at this point gets quickly saturated and is no longer effective. The filter inside the drier could also have accumulated some debris and may not provide future protection. When the desiccant is no longer effective, it could diminish the oil and refrigerant flow.

Signs Of A Failing Drier

A malfunctioning drier can cause problems to the rest of the air conditioning system. Some problems are big and can lead to serious damage to other components. When the drier is experiencing problems, a driver will notice some symptoms that will indicate the drier needs inspecting. Some of the symptoms that indicate a drier is failing include:

  • Rattling noises: Driers are enclosed in a chamber and if you hear any rattling noise, it may be a clear indication the chambers are contaminated or it may be a sign of internal damage. Rattling noises in a drier can also be caused by loose fittings. If you hear any rattling noises coming from the drier, it best to have the problem addressed as soon as possible to avoid further damage to the A/C system.

Moldy smell: If you experience bad smells from your A/C that is a sign that your drier is not removing moisture from the system. When moisture gets into an A/C system, it encourages the growth of molds and bacteria which in turn cause foul smell.