Types Of Car Air Conditioners

Life without air conditioners is almost incomprehensible. We have them around us for almost 24x7. Our houses are fitted with air conditioners, so is our office spaces, restaurants, shopping malls and you name it. In fact cars are also equipped with air conditioners. Car air conditioners have been around since long and we have come a long way in optimizing them according to our needs. Automotive air conditioners are of two types. The main difference between the two types lies in the device that lowers the refrigerant pressure. Each has advantages and disadvantages.


Before we take a look at the types of car air conditioner, let’s know the components present in a car A/c. These include the compressor, condenser, evaporator, orifice tube, thermal expansion valve, receiver-drier, and accumulator. A car air conditioner will either be equipped with an orifice tube or a thermal expansion valve. This results in two types of auto air conditioner. How do they work?

Let’s know how a car air conditioner works? The low pressure, vaporized refrigerant reaches the compressor from the evaporator. Here it is compressed at high pressure that increases its temperature and pressure. The refrigerant then goes to the condenser where it is it is cooled down by fans blowing across the condenser fins. The liquid refrigerant then reaches the receiver-drier, which is filtered and dried. The liquid refrigerant accumulates at the bottom of the receiver-drier. The expansion valve regulates the flow of liquid refrigerant to enter the evaporator. It only allows a certain amount of refrigerant to flow in as required by the evaporator. The warm air from inside the automobile is forced onto the evaporator fins. The refrigerant absorbs the heat of the air and the cool air is recirculated inside the car. The refrigerant becomes vaporised due to absorption of heat and reaches the compressor for compressing cycle. The moisture from the warm air after the cooling process is drained away.

Types of Car air conditioner

They are two types of ca air conditioner- one that has orifice tube system and the other fitted with expansion valve system.

The orifice tube system is generally found in automobile models manufactured by GM or Ford. In these models you have orifice tube not longer than 3 inches placed in the inlet tube of the evaporator or in the liquid line. It is made of small brass tubes with filters at either side. It is the tube that regulates the flow of refrigerant into the evaporator coils.

The shortcoming of orifice tube is that they often get clogged with debris. It is quite costly to repair them. To avoid clogging you can install a larger pre-filter in front of the orifice tube.

The after-market car air conditioners have expansion valve system to regulate the flow of refrigerant to the evaporator. It is situated at the firewall, between the evaporator inlet and outlet tubes and the liquid and section lines. This also runs the risk of getting clogged with debris. Beside this, the valve has small moving parts that may malfunction due to of corrosion.



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