Understand your air conditioning system

Friday February 23 2018

The AC is an important component of the car

The AC is an important component of the car therefore, it is important that you understand how it operates. photos by Alex Esagala  

By Mustafa Ziraba

If you have driven in the past few weeks, you must have been incensed by the almost unbearable heat.
It has been so bad until a few days ago when the skies opened up to wash off the heat.
During under heat can be troubling, especially when, your car has none-functioning or bad air conditioning system.
A car’s air conditioning system is one of those things that many people ignore until they actually need it.
It is a big function of the car even as it affects some people, many of who have allergies that cannot allow them to us an AC.
Today, we shall seek to understand in a layman’s understanding how the AC works.

The refrigerant
It is a feature that is created for the car industry. It was first launched in the late 1980’s.
It is also known as the Freon, which is derived from a key competent in the AC system.
The AC is composed of a compressor, which pumps a gas and liquid-like substance called the Freon through the system.
The Freon is compressed and pushed through the system after which it is released through the expansion valve.

The gas is then released as cold vapour or air through different metal lines, some of which are cut out in the dashboard or other such spaces.
The air is then blown out by a small fan that sits inside the car.
The AC operates like a small refrigeration system and just like any other refrigeration system it generates a certain degree of coldness but with controlled degrees.

When the AC system fails
The AC is a sensitive component of the car and it will at times suffer low efficiency or no cooling at all.
This might be a result or failure of the condenser, which helps to cool and direct airflow.
This can be mitigated by ensuring that the motor or the blades are sufficiently moving and blowing air as required. However, the AC might also fail because of low levels of Freon, which cuts back on internal pressure, a crucial part of the air cooling process.
As earlier indicated, the AC is a sensitive element, therefore, it needs regular servicing. However, it is also important that you avoid topping Freon without expert opinion as it will cause damages that might turn out expensive.

When the AC heats
If the engine is running, it is only natural there is a certain degree up to which the air within the car will heat. Therefore, the heat will have a noticeable effect on the air conditioning system. Some cars are fixed with two electric cooling fans, one which is for condensing the air that comes through the AC and the other for cooling the radiator.
The AC works much hard and faster when the car is moving than when it is idling due to the fact that it has to produce much air for the heat being generated by the moving of some parts of the car.

In such cases, there will be a dramatic increase in airflow across the condenser, which allows the engine to operating at a more efficient temperature.
The efficiency, according to Sulaiman Ssetimba, a mechanic on Salaama gives off enough air to cool off the heat no matter how hot it can be.
The AC, he says, operates more efficiently at a relatively high speeds due to the added air flow that is pumped through the condenser. Periodic air conditioning performance checks by a mechanic is advised to keep it in shape.

Why your air conditioner might fail

After air has been created, it is forced out through different passageways. However, in some instances the air will fail to come through because of the following.
Faulty fan
The fun is electronically-controlled to blow air into passenger compartment. The motor that runs the fans can fail, which might be attributed to the failure of the motor or the system controlling it.

Failing cable operation
The cable controls a network that is composed of a lever or knob, a cable, and a cable controlled flap.
Therefore, if any of these fails they will disrupt the movement or generation of air.
Vacuum Operation
The AC uses a vacuum motor to control the movement of door or flap. However, the operation of the vacuum motor might fail which will automatically result in proper functioning of the AC.