The air conditioning in our cars is something many of us take for granted. We expect it to work efficiently no matter what, even when we’ve parked directly in the sun during summer. But like all things that treat us well, we have to show it an equal amount of care and attention. Here are six ways that you can maximize your AC so you’re not sweating it out this summer.
Use It or Lose It
To keep a steady level of gas pressure within the system, you should run your AC for at least 10 minutes, once a week. Most people use their AC longer than that on a daily basis, but if you don’t drive often or you keep the windows down instead, running your AC on this schedule will both improve your system’s ability to remove humidity from the cabin during winter and prevent mildew from growing.
Take It Slow
When the weather is hot, our first reaction is to turn the AC on full blast right when we get in the car. This actually works against you and makes your system work harder and take longer to cool. When the inside of your car is hotter than the outside and the AC is turned up high, the car pulls air from the cabin. So hot air is running through the system and making things worse. Starting the AC on low will work better and cool faster. Parking in the shade is a huge help.
If you keep pulling air from outside the car into the system, then it’s constantly cooling off warmer air. Turn on recirculation mode when you feel cold air coming from the vents. This uses air already inside the cabin and helps cool the car down faster with less effort. However, using this mode in cold weather will trap humid air in your car, so avoid this method in winter.
Clean Your Filter
Your cabin filter catches dust and dirt particles before blowing the air into the car. But if you don’t clean it regularly then your clogged filter will start to hurt the efficiency of your cooling system. If the filter is too clogged to clean, then it’s time for a replacement. The timeline varies depending on how often you run your AC, but on average we recommend changing the filter every 12,000 to 15,000 miles.
Maintain Refrigerant Level
Any time you have maintenance performed on your car, you should ask your mechanic to look at the refrigerant level in its AC system. You don’t need it replaced every time, but you should keep yourself aware of the level so you can plan out your maintenance. Running your AC on low levels of refrigerant will hurt its overall performance.
Service the AC Regularly
This includes the maintenance you would do on your own, such as cleaning or replacing the filter. But professionals can identify issues before they become long-term problems. We’ve found it’s best to get your AC serviced toward the end of winter. If you discover a problem with your system in the middle of summer, you’re going to be in line with everyone else who waited, at a time when prices are higher due to demand.
If you need professional help with your AC, contact Bavarian Body Works to schedule an inspection today.
At Bavarian Body Works, our trained technicians work on many types of cars. We know what to look for with your car’s AC and can fix problems quickly so you can get back to feeling cool on the road. We’ll evaluate your options with you, always with a focus on your safety. Contact us today for more information.