What did we do before AC?

Summer’s approaching!Blue Ash Auto Repair

As the summer’s temperature increase one of the most demanded services at Evan’s Auto Care rears its head as we enter Air Conditioning season. To most in this area air conditioning is vital. Your cars air conditioning makes a hot summer day bearable. Whether you are driving on a family vacation or driving home from work, air conditioning in Cincinnati is a necessity.

AC 101

As simple as it is to operate the fundamentals that allow air conditioning to work are quite complex. They involve Laws of physics of changing temperatures of refrigerant as it changes pressure. That’s why the compressor of your air conditioning system is vital, because of its ability to create a high pressure of refrigerant. The air conditioning system then changes this high pressure liquid refrigerant making into a low pressure gas, and that change results in a change of temperature. All of this changing pressures and temperatures happen in a closed loop in a relatively short period of time. And this closed loop is completely sealed so a system that never leaks would reuse the same refrigerant forever. Your air conditioning system doesn’t use up what refrigerant it re-uses it.

History of automotive air conditioning

To many air conditioning is a luxury they can’t live without. But until recently air conditioning was a luxury you just couldn’t have or was so expensive you couldn’t afford it. Most automotive manufacturers either didn’t offer air conditioning or offered it only as an option. And in the early years air conditioning was extremely expensive. It was so expensive that air conditioning was rarely seen on cars other than limousines. The first production car that offered air condition was Packard in 1939. But this was an option and an option for the wealthy. Air conditioning added $274 to the cost of the vehicle, about $4050 today. For this reason air conditioning continued to be a rarity through the 50’s and 60’s when only about 20% of cars on the road had AC.

Another obstacle to the success of automotive air conditioning was the discovery of what the refrigerant used did to the environment. In the mid 80’s scientist discovered a changing in the earth’s protective ozone layer. One of the contributing factors was believed to be the components that made up automotive refrigerant: R12 Freon. This discovery required a change of refrigerant used in automobiles and special equipment and procedures to capture and service your cars air conditioning system. The federal government imposed an excise tax on Freon inventories, required expensive reclaiming equipment and imposed heavy fines for anyone uncertified or improperly servicing air conditioning systems.

Car Air Conditioning

Expensive to repair

Air conditioning continues to be an expensive repair on modern vehicles. The equipment and procedures to service AC systems have driven the price of that service up. Along with the cost of air conditioning components on today’s cars and trucks, air conditioning can be a luxury.  There are several preventative maintenance measures you can perform to cut down on an expensive AC repair. Clean out the intake vents under your car’s hood, they get filled with leaves. The leaves then fall into the case that holds the air condition evaporator causing it to corrode. To replace the AC evaporator requires the interior of the vehicle including the dashboard to be removed. So when the leaves come down in the fall make sure you clean them out from under your hood. Another inexpensive preventative maintenance measure you can take is to let a certified technician do an air conditioning performance inspection. At that point they will inspect for the proper operation and possible leaks of your air conditioning system. The most common cause of your AC system not working is because the refrigerant has leaked out. So a qualified technician can head off a problem before it becomes an expensive repair.