Understanding How Car A/Cs Work

Understanding How Car ACs Work

Air conditioning is a built-in system within a car allowing it to cool the car’s interior air. The air conditioning system in a car dispenses cool air by manipulating the refrigerant between liquid and gaseous states, while regulating temperature and pressure. The absorption of humid air and heat allows the system to provide cool air. This article will help give you a precise understanding of how car A/Cs work. Keep reading to learn more.

Is A/C Necessary in a Car?

Advantageously, a car’s A/C provides a safer drive, a cool and comfortable driving experience, and a de-misted windscreen adds to the aerodynamics of a car.

What is the Purpose of A/C in a Car?

The controlling system manages the car’s temperature by sensing it and controlling the refrigerating system. The first purpose is to cool the air entering the passenger compartment and the second is to remove moisture from the air comfort inside the vehicle.

What are the Parts of the A/C System in a Car?

The parts of an air conditioning system include a compressor, a condenser, an expansion valve, an evaporator, a receiver/dryer, a refrigerant, a pressure regulating device, an orifice tube, and an accumulator. These parts are discussed in detail below:

Compressor: In this component, low-pressure gas is consumed and compressed into high-pressure gas. It is found in front of the engine and is driven by a serpentine belt.

Dryer: This component is mounted on the high-pressure side between the condenser and the metering device that removes water from the refrigerant with the help of a drying agent.

Refrigerant: This is a heat-sensitive fluid having a shallow boiling point useful in air conditioning as a medium of heat exchange.

Orifice tube: This tube is present in the inlet tube of the evaporator.

Metering Device: This component is located on the high-pressure side of the system between the dryer and firewall. It can be either the expansion valve or a fixed orifice tube servicing to lower the refrigerant pressure, dropping the temperature quickly.

Condenser: This component is found behind the grill, at the front of the vehicle working to reduce the temperature of the refrigerant. It uses forced air to transfer heat.

Evaporator: This is distinctly the only component mounted inside the passenger compartment placed behind the dashboard. The refrigerant inside the evaporator reverts to a gaseous state causing a cooling effect.

Accumulator: This component functions to accommodate an orifice to meter refrigerants into the evaporator. Additionally, the accumulator stores the excess liquid refrigerant and isolates the compressor from damaging liquid refrigerant.

A car’s A/C system obeys the following technique for working:

  • Low temperature/pressure refrigerant enters the compressor in gaseous form.
  • High-temperature/pressure refrigerant exits the compressor in gaseous form.
  • The refrigerant cools and converts gas to liquid in the condenser under high temperature/ pressure.
  • The dryer withdraws water from the refrigerant.
  • The expansion valve lowers the refrigerant temperature/pressure.
  • The refrigerant then gets converted to the gaseous state again in the evaporator thereby absorbing heat. When air blows against the evaporator, it is cool and dry.


Now you are aware of how a car’s A/C work! If you find you’re A/C is not working properly, or you have questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to reach out to us!