How to Make Sure Your Air Conditioning Keeps You Cool
Air conditioning is a modern amenity that many of us take for granted. In fact, pilule every modern vehicle is equipped with this climate-altering benefit. The most obvious effect is that air conditioning will keep the cabin at an agreeable temperature during even the warmest days of the year. However, drug this very same mechanism helps to remove humidity from the interiors of the windows; allowing for greater visibility. There are still unfortunate times when an air conditioning unit ceases to function properly. How can this be addressed and what are the ways that this system can be maintained in good working condition?
Understanding Air Conditioning
Appreciating the basic principles behind air conditioning should first be addressed. Modern units utilize a substance known as R134a. This is a refrigerant that is used in the process of transferring heat from the interior of the vehicle and replacing it with cooler air. However, R134a is also quite dangerous to humans and the environment. It should therefore never be discharged; it is poisonous and can even cause frostbite. The basic parts of an air conditioner are the compressor, the condenser and the evaporator. All of these are powered by the fan belt located within the engine.
Unlike air conditioning units found within a home, those found in a car are actually susceptible to a number of conditions. Not only must they be able to withstand the mechanical vibrations of the vehicle, but they are often hit by dust, grit and other common flying debris while driving. So, a number of different problems can occur.
One of the most common causes for a lack of cold air is known as “black death” in the automotive industry. This begins when the refrigerant starts to break down. It should be noted that this refrigerant acts very much like a lubricant for the moving parts within the unit (consider the oil in an engine). Over time, a lack of sufficient flow will cause parts such as the compressor to become worn. The particulate matter from this compressor will then travel to various other parts of the system. The end result may be an entire shutdown of the air conditioning unit. The best way to detect if this is the case is to take the vehicle into a professional care centre; they can determine the cause of the issue.
Another issue that is experienced by many drivers is a simple lack of sufficient airflow from the vents within the cabin. There can be several causes behind such a problem. Check to make certain that any hoses have not become cracked, loose or detached entirely. Also, the fan that drives the air may have stopped spinning. Mildew and mold could be present in the evaporator core. A simple cleaning can do the trick here. Any seals that may have become punctured will diminish this flow of air.
A Lack of Cold Air
Some may notice that the level of chill in the air has diminished over time. Again, there can be several causes for this situation. This could be a symptom of a refrigerant leak within the apparatus. One of the ways to discover if this is the case is to purchase a tube of dye which can be inserted into the system; any major leak can be more easily spotted. Clogged expansion tubes or a failed compressor may likewise be culprits. If none of these are the case, a blown fuse or a failed relay could be responsible. If this is suspected, it is first wise to take a look at the fuse box of the vehicle. There is a schematic that displays which plug-in fuses are designed for which functions. Should the fuse appear black or damaged upon examination, this may be the problem. The same holds true for the relay. These are both inexpensive parts and they can be purchased at nearly every automotive store.
Normal Parts and Maintenance
The best way to ensure that the air conditioning unit remains in good working condition is to regularly check for signs of wear and tear. In fact, many authoritative sites claim that certain parts such as the dryer unit need to be replaced every one to two years. This can be a complicated process and those who are unaware of the mechanics of air conditioning should once again seek out the help of a trained professional. Also, make certain that all filters are free from dust and debris. A blocked filter can cause the unit to overheat while it is quite likely that the airflow will be reduced.
Keep in mind that the refrigerant R134a is very dangerous and the tank should never be vented into the environment. In fact, there have been several proposals to ban this substance within the automotive industry. If there are ever any doubts or the unit is difficult to reach, it is always best to bring the vehicle into a garage and seek out the opinion of a trained mechanic.