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Car Maintenance: Everything You Need To Know About Air Con

By: James Ruppert
Why you need your air conditioning

You really need your air con, all year round. Look after your system and it will certainly keep you, healthy, happy and breathing fresher, filtered air. Air con also helps you in so many subtle ways, so here is a brief guide to keeping cool and a clear head with your air con system.

 

What is Air Conditioning?

There are two types of system, one is air conditioning and the other is climate control. The first filters and cools the air at a fixed amount, the other filters and cools the air sufficiently to maintain a preset temperature.

Climate control is much more sophisticated and takes into account the interior and exterior air temperature and calculates the optimum amount of cooling. Whereas air con is either on or off, climate control allows you to drive in your ideal environment.

 
Keep it Running

First of all air conditioning simply doesn’t blow cool air in your direction. It actually removes hot air from inside the car itself.

It's a false economy to refrain from using your system to save fuel. What you will effectively be doing is damaging it by switching it off. Ideally it pays to switch it on and use it regularly. This ensures that the multiple hoses, valves and pumps remain lubricated.

Indeed, in winter the system will take any moisture out of the air in the car and clear the windows super fast and even more importantly stop them from misting up.

Demist Your Car Windscreen Faster

 

Economy

The most economical way of using air conditioning isn't to plunge the temperature down to freezing point. This puts a lot of stress on the system and uses a lot of fuel. It's much better to set the temperature just a few degrees lower than outside.

Some believe that you should rely on the old fashioned method of winding down the windows around town. Then when you pick up speed, rely on the air con. The recirculate mode will also reduce the strain on the engine and is best used when in traffic.

 
Maintenance

Any odd smells might suggest there could be bacteria in the system.

When your car is due a service and even if it's not in the manufacturer’s schedule, it always makes sense to get the system checked for the level of refrigerant and re-gas if required. The pollen filters are usually changed too.

So look after your air conditioning system and it will look after you, or at least keep you cool, or warm and stop the interior misting up...

 

Further Reading

When to Repair Air Conditioning

Latest Recall Notifications

How To Check A Repair Bill Is Fair

 

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