Contrary to popular belief, your car air conditioning’s ability to generate Arctic Winds in seconds is neither witchcraft nor bending the laws of nature. Think of your air conditioning system as a cycle, which works using a type of gas known as refrigerant. This gas is able to be heated up, condensed and compressed very quickly, and travels through a series of pipes that do this in quick succession. The cycle goes essentially as follows:
- Your refrigerant is compressed, rapidly heating it up into a hot gas. It’s then fed through a winding condenser coil that’s cooled by a fan running from the air blowing into the car.
- As it travels through the coil, the refrigerant condenses back into liquid as it slowly cools down.
- The liquid is then fed into an expander, where it undergoes a rapid drop in pressure. This causes the liquid to evaporate into vapour and cool down very quickly.
- The vapour is then fed into another winding coil of pipes, where any remaining liquid is evaporated by the air passing over it, in turn cooling the air rapidly as well.
- The vapour is fed back into the compressor, where it goes through the cycle again and again.