What is a Receiver Drier and why should it be replaced?

The receiver drier is a service component, in much the same way as an air filter or an oil filter is disposable. It serves to filter the air conditioning system from anything that is not condensable. The oil in the refrigerant holds moisture and allows debris to remain in the system. Also, when moisture combines with refrigerant, hydrochloric acid is formed, and this can be very damaging to AC components.

The receiver drier contains desiccant pellets that absorb moisture. Once they become saturated with moisture, they will no longer serve their purpose, and the recedrier will need to be replaced.


Unless you use the air conditioner in your vehicle a great deal, the receiver drier will last about three years. At that point, the desiccant pellets will have deteriorated to the point that they will break down, clog up the expansion valve, and possibly even damage the compressor. 

The receiver drier should always be replaced any time the system is opened for maintenance.





Compressor warranties require it.


Receiver Driers serve three very important functions:

1.They act as a temporary storage container for oil and refrigerant when neither are needed for system operation (such as during periods of low cooling demand). This is the “receiver” function of the receiver drier.

2.Most receiver driers contain a filter that can trap debris that may be inside the A/C system.

3.Receiver driers contain a material called desiccant. The desiccant is used to absorb moisture that may have gotten inside the A/C system during manufacture, assembly, or service. Moisture can get into the A/C components from humidity in the air. This is the “drier” function of the receiver drier.