Our winters in the Twin Cities can be brutal. But visitors can also be surprised with how hot our summers can be. Driving through Columbia Heights, Minnetonka, Little Canada or St. Paul without properly working air conditioning in July or August can be uncomfortable at the least.
Some may not be aware the role Minneapolis played in the history of air conditioning. It was in 1914 that the Charles Gates mansion in Minneapolis became the first private home to have air conditioning. It was a unit that was about 7 feet high by 6 feet wide and an impressive 20 feet long!
Auto air conditioning traces its history to 1933 when a New York City company began offering add-on units for vehicles. In 1939, Packard became the first automobile manufacturer to include air conditioning as an option. At the time they were called “weather conditioners”, and added $274 to the price of a car. In today’s dollars, that would be an astounding $4,700.
Like everything involving automobiles, air conditioning has continued to evolve through the years, ultimately leading to automatic climate control systems that keeps today’s cars comfortable in any outside temperature. Of course the more complicated these systems get, the more challenging an air conditioning repair can become. Cooling air is not a simple task. It takes multiple steps.
Circulating refrigerant vapor is compressed to a hotter temperature by the compressor in the engine bay. This compressor is usually powered via belts by the car’s engine. This compressed refrigerant vapor is now pressurized enough and hot enough to be condensed through a condenser. The hot refrigerant flows through condenser coils placed usually in front of the radiator. Here it is cooled by air flow, and becomes condensed into a liquid. The circulating refrigerant pushes away the heat and it is dispersed by the air.
This condensed, pressurized liquid refrigerant then goes through an expansion valve. Here it goes through a quick reduction of pressure. This creates an instant evaporation of a portion of the refrigerant, making it colder. Next this cold refrigerant is directed through the evaporator in the passenger area. This cool air moves across the evaporator, cooling it further. Fans circulate this cooler air throughout the vehicle. The vapor of the refrigerant is then cycled back to the compressor, where the process continues.
An automobile air condition repair can be related to the condenser, the compressor, expansive valve, fan motors, belts, tubes, hoses and a variety of other maladies. Many times an AC recharge will solve the problem. The key is finding experience AC specialists who can solve your issue properly the first time.
If your car isn’t cooling like it once was, come into Quality Coaches for an AC recharge or for the specific air conditioning repair required. Air conditioning repairs may be obvious, or it may be due to a leak that can be more challenging to track down. You can count on the experience of our Quality Coaches team to solve your problem efficiently. We offer free estimates and a one year labor and manufacturer warranty on parts. If your AC is not working, contact Quality Coaches today.