Evolution of Heating and Air-Conditioning Systems

Cabin comfort in automobiles has seen many changes in the last 100 years. The industry has gone from not having cabin heat or an air-conditioning system to both becoming standard equipment. Many other advances have become common on cars and trucks as well. Some advancements that are available on modern cars and trucks include dual zone systems, rear heat and air systems, automatic temperature control systems, heated and cooled seats, and remote starting systems.

Dual zone climate control systems allow the driver and the passenger to have different air temperatures delivered to each side of the car. These systems are typically available on upscale vehicles and are made possible by having a more complex duct box system that has separate blend doors for each side of the vehicle. The drawback of these systems is that with more complexity in the system, more potential problems can occur when the vehicle begins to get older and in the higher-mileage category.

1 Evolution of Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

This dual zone climate control head allows the driver and the passenger to choose different temperature settings for each side of the vehicle. This control head also has the switches for the heated seats for the driver and the

1 1 Evolution of Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

The heat and air-conditioning controls are located at the roof area within easy reach of those in the second-row seats on the driver’s side. This control allows the blower speed, the temperature, and the mode to be

Many larger vehicles are equipped with rear heat and air systems that provide heat and air-conditioning directly to the rear section of the cabin. Having the added capacity to heat and cool the rear of a larger vehicle provides much improved comfort for the passengers of these vehicles. These systems require hoses and lines for heated coolant as well as pressurized refrigerant to be routed to the back section of the vehicle. This requires increased capacity for both the cooling system as well as the refrigeration system. In addition, these systems have more serviceable parts that must be operational as well as more potential leak locations for the coolant and refrigerant.

Automatic temperature control is another convenient option that is available on many modern vehicles. These advanced systems incorporate many sensors and computers to automatically control the temperature to the desired level. When these systems are in automatic mode, the operator selects the desired cabin temperature and the system works to move the cabin temperature to that level. Many of these systems are also equipped with dual zone capabilities, as mentioned previously.

Heated and cooled seats have become very popular in modern upscale vehicles. This added capacity to keep the occupants comfortable is a great advancement that is popular with consumers. Heated seats have been available for many years, but cooled seats have only been available for a few years.

Remote start systems have become a popular option in recent years. These systems are incorporated into the keyless remote systems and allow the user to start the vehicle by using the remote transmitter. Being able to start the engine with a remote control allows the heater or air-conditioning system to begin working before the driver enters the vehicle. This process allows the operator and passengers to enter a climate-controlled vehicle rather than having to wait for the system to get to the efficient zone after entering the unit.

1 2 Evolution of Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

This control head features automatic temperature control, dual zone, and rear defogger controls. Most vehicles with automatic temperature control also allow the operator to manually pick the air distribution point, blower speed, and air

1 3 Evolution of Heating and Air Conditioning Systems

The remote control for the door locks also features a button for the remote start function for this vehicle. Most vehicles with factory remote start require a sequence of buttons to be pressed in order to activate the function, which reduces the chances of accidentally starting the car.

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