Understanding The Differences Between Auto A/C Condensers And Compressors

Few drivers understand or care about the inner workings of their air conditioning system, until something goes wrong. In fairness, these systems are quite complex, but knowing the basics can make it easier to identify problems and prevent unscrupulous mechanics from taking advantage of your lack of knowledge. Below is a description of two key components, which are auto A/C condensers and compressors.

An Overview Of A/C Systems

Air conditioning units, whether they are in buildings or automobiles, function using the same basic principle. The refrigerant is compressed, which elevates its temperature. Next, the refrigerant will travel into the condenser, at which point a cooling procedure starts. This is a critical process, as gas refrigerant will be transformed into a liquid. Afterward, the refrigerant will be moved to a receiver, where it will be filtered. Pollutants such as dirt or dust will be eliminated.

The refrigerant will next be sent to the expansion valve, which reduces the pressure and temperature. Last, an evaporator will take the processed refrigerant, cooling and dehumidifying it so that it can then be sent into the vehicle’s interior. The cool air is distributed through the usage of a blower.

The Compressor

The compressor is responsible for the compression or squeezing of gas. The refrigerant will be pressed flat as the compressor prepares it for the process of cooling down the vehicle. The refrigerant appears as gas while it traverses through the compressor, but will be altered a bit so it becomes a liquid vapor.

The Condenser

The condenser is best thought of as a type of transformer. It is responsible for transforming gas into liquid, which is then used to produce air which is cold. It does this by using the gas which is pressurized and sent through the compressor to transform it into vaporous liquid. The vapor is then subjected to various cooling and filtering procedures, after which it is finally sent into the vehicle cabin where passengers get to enjoy it.

Although these two components are distinct, they work closely together. Each component is located in close proximity to the other, and therefore it isn’t unusual for automobile novices to get them confused. The best way to visualize A/C systems is to see them as a highly efficient way of moving and transforming gas refrigerant into a form that is more usable (which is a liquid cool vapor). Once you see it that way, it’s easier to understand.

Performing A/C DIY Projects

Many automobile enthusiasts are interested in DIY (do it yourself) projects of all kinds, and this is understandable, because parts and labor can be costly and many people don’t want to deal with a mechanic. While experts don’t recommend working on A/C systems because of the dangers of misusing the refrigerant, if a compressor part such as the seal or O-ring goes bad, these devices can be safely replaced.