Car air conditioning is thought by many to be a modern invention, yet, believe it or not, air conditioning has been available since 1933 when it was offered in NYC to elite customers of Limousines and other luxury car makes. The Packard Motor Car Company began installing car air conditioning systems in its range of cars in 1939. The systems were equipped with a heat or cooling option called ‘weather conditioners’. However, initially they weren’t that successful because they occupied a large amount of boot space. The controls were also limited to on or off, with no changeable temperature gauge. The earlier models also proved to be unreliable as well as being considered very expensive, especially for post- war year prices.
After-market air conditioning systems became available in the 1950’s. The systems, consisting of a compressor, a condenser and a filter drier, were mounted under the dashboard. It is possible today to have an air conditioning system fitted to cars from the 1950’s to 1970’s using factory original parts. Many manufacturers offer a bespoke, custom made system depending on the make and model of the car. After-market kits became popular as they were modular, compact, easy to install and easy to service.
However, with today’s changing climate, fitting old-style air conditioning systems in older vehicles is becoming more problematic. Growing concern for the effect of HCFC gases on the environment, especially ozone depletion, has led to major changes in air conditioning, especially in older vehicles. Older vehicles use a refrigerant, R22, commercially known as Freon. This was banned in 2001 by the EU, because of its ozone depleting properties. It was replaced by the less harmful R134a, but even this is due to be replaced. Refrigerant gases should have a Global Warming Potential of 150 or lower. R134a has a GWP of 1410! R134a is still available, but is becoming more difficult to acquire and therefore more expensive.
• Completely replace the old air conditioning system with a modern alternative.
• Modify the existing system so that it can be topped up with modern refrigerants.
Any car air conditioning installation and maintenance should be carried out by a qualified air conditioning specialist.
Cool Car Air Conditioning Specialists have fully qualified, trained engineers for all your car air conditioning needs. We also offer a convenient mobile service. If you have an older vehicle, call us today for expert advice.