Hopefully, wherever you are, the weather is warming up nicely as is the inside of your car. Although it makes sense to use to a vehicle’s air conditioning all year round, it is in warmer times that we really appreciate it. That said, a/c doesn’t keep a car nicely chilled without some input from the owner. Here are a few top tips to keep your air-con tip top.
Get The System Serviced
No matter how simple or sophisticated a car’s air-conditioning unit is, it still needs routine servicing for it to be at its best. Briefly, over time the refrigerant in the system depletes and this means it will struggle to be properly cold. The easy solution is to have the system recharged by a professional car servicing garage, maybe every couple of years. Make it a part of the annual service. Having a recharge helps prevent costly malfunctions. Ideally this a job for the professional automotive technicians but it isn’t expensive and doesn’t take long.
Lack of attention can cause a build-up of bacteria in the works, and these nasties can be expelled into the cabin. It’s worth getting it sorted for this reason alone in these virus-ridden days.
Leave It Switched On
Like a puppy at Christmas, a car’s air-con isn’t just for July. Keep it running for the full twelve months because, in the winter, it helps to clear steamed up windows and condensation. Electric car owners might like to note that running any accessory, including a/c, will deplete the charge more quickly, albeit only in a small way.
Further, the air-con only works when the engine is running. This means on modern motors that the system, when the car is stationary and the stop-start function has kicked in to help lower emissions, will turn off briefly. It also means that the compressor and fan will stop for that period. It’s up to the owner to decide if this is a good time to over-ride the Stop/Start facility.
Increase Use In Stages
In the same way a car needs to warm up to work at its best so an air-conditioning unit needs a little time to get the chill factor high. Blasting the fan when driving off from cold will mean that the fan will just push hot air around the interior. Give the system a couple of minutes to allow the compressor to get down to operating temperature.
Don’t Forget The Cabin Filter
Without optimal airflow the climate control struggles to achieve the desired temperature and that makes for a less comfortable drive. If you can’t attend to it yourself ask your local professional garage to make sure the cabin filter is clear of any detritus to get the full benefit.
A Cooling Breeze
When the ambient temperature is scorching it is tempting to point the air vents directly at our faces. This might bring instant gratification but it isn’t the best idea. Far better to point the air vents towards the roof; this way the cold air gets to circulate around the whole interior.
An Interesting Final Point
It is generally felt that opening car windows when a car had air-con is a bit superfluous. This is because the air outside is likely to be as warm as the air inside. An interesting point though is that, when first switching on the system, if the rear windows are opened briefly then that allows the hot stale air to be forced out. Once the system is up speed, close them for a nicely refrigerated cabin.
So when it’s time for that fun family road trip to a holiday destination, make sure your climate control is working at its optimum performance. Your children might not think you are cool, but at least they will be.