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Top Tips To Keep Your Air-Con Tip Top

At the time of writing this the weather is sunny and warm. We offer no guarantees about the weather when you read this, however. Let’s hope it is just as warm. The thing is though, the inside of your car is warming up too at this time of year. Now is the time to make sure your car’s air conditioning is nice and chilled. Although it makes sense to use to a vehicle’s air conditioning all year round, it is in warmer times that we really appreciate that crisp, cooling blast; but perfect air-con does require a little input from the owner. Here’s some ideas:

Allow The System To Chill Down

In the same way a car needs to warm up from cold to work at its best so an air-conditioning or climate control unit needs a little time to get the ambient temperature down. Blasting the fan when driving off from a cold start will mean that the fan will just push hot air around the interior. Give the system a couple of minutes to allow the air-con compressor to get down to operating temperature.

Further, when the ambient temperature is scorching it is tempting to point the air vents directly at our faces (maybe not great for allergy sufferers (see cabin filter). 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.

Remember The Cabin Filter

This is a small but vital part of cabin life that gets neglected. 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. Consider it part of the service schedule.

Get The Air-Con Serviced

No matter how simple or sophisticated a car’s air-conditioning unit might be, 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. Again, maybe make it a part of the annual service. Having a recharge helps prevent costly malfunctions further down the road. Ideally this a job for the professional automotive technicians but it isn’t expensive and doesn’t take long.

Incidentally, lack of attention can cause a build-up of bacteria in the works, and these nasties can be expelled into the cabin potentially, at its worst, making people ill. It’s worth getting it sorted for this reason alone in these virus-ridden days.

Leave The Air-Con On

A car’s air-con isn’t just for July; it does a job all year round. Keep it ticking over for the full twelve months because, in the winter, it helps to clear misted-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.

An Interesting Final Point

It is generally felt that opening car windows when a car has 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 fling to a holiday destination, or when on the road for business in sweltering weather, make sure your climate control is working at its optimum performance. Your teenage children might not think you’re cool, but at least they will be.

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