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The heating and air conditioning systems in our vehicles make getting to our destinations much more enjoyable. We often take for granted that our vehicle’s heat keeps us warm in the winter months, and the cool air refreshes us in the summer time.
The heater in your car is basically a simplified smaller version of the engine cooling system already in place. It works by taking the hot engine coolant and circulating it through a small radiator, called a heater core. In front of the heater core is a fan to blow cold outside air over the warm heater core fins. As this air travels over the fins, it warms up and becomes the hot air which blows out of your heater vents.
Like your engines cooling system, the heater core can suffer some of the same issues. If the heater core becomes plugged with rust or other items, you will no longer receive heat. Most often the heater core is buried under your dash, and replacing it is a major job.
The air conditioning system in your car is comprised of 4 separate steps that cools the air coming out of your vents. If you have ever used a can of compressed air to clean computer components, you will know that the bottle gets very cold in a short amount of time. The same thing happens in your car’s air conditioning system with a few more steps. A fan blows then over the evaporator and cools the air.