Maintaining Your Car's Air Conditioning

calendar Published on: Friday, 13th May 2022 | male icon Author: Jack Dreyer

Despite being a saving grace on a hot summer’s day, our cars’ air conditioning often gets overlooked when it comes to maintenance.

However, it really does pay to keep your air-con in check for more reasons than one. For a start, air conditioning units are expensive to replace if they break. Secondly, they are useful all year round — not just in summer.

Read on to find out why and how you should look after your air conditioning.

Why should you maintain your car’s air conditioning?

Air conditioning is so much more than just an additional, comfortable feature in a vehicle. It is actually extremely functional.

It can help avoid moisture damage, for one. And, for two, it can defrost the windscreens in winter. Due to its high functionality, it is essential that you conduct regular checks and maintenance on your air conditioning.

What's more, getting an air con system replaced or repaired if damaged can be a long and costly process that nobody wants to have to resort to.

How to maintain your car’s air conditioning

By following these simple tips, it should be easier than ever to keep your aircon working at its best for as long as possible.

Use your air con regularly

In order to get the best results, you should aim to use your air con at least once a week for about 10 minutes. The reason for this is because the air con uses oil that is transported with coolant. If this coolant is left to sit for a long time, the oil will not be evenly distributed around the compressor and it will not be lubricated properly.

Use your air con in winter

Yes, you heard us correctly. While many drivers think that air-con should only be used in the summer, this isn’t the case. Leaving your air conditioning system unused for months over the winter leaves it susceptible to falling into a state of disrepair. Dust will enter your system and it will not work as efficiently as before. It may also begin to smell and not function properly.

If you aren’t using your air conditioning in winter you are definitely missing a trick or two. Due to the dehumidifying properties of air con, it is a great tool to use on wintry mornings. Simply use the warm setting and demist the front and rear windows in no time at all. Using your air con in winter also helps to freshen up cabin air and maintain comfort levels inside your vehicle.

Learn the ‘air con best practices’

There are a whole host of things drivers can do to keep their air con in check that take little to no effort at all.

One of these tips is keeping the windows up! While it might be tempting to roll with the windows down in summer, this can actually do harm to your air con — or, at the very least, cancel out its cooling effects.

Opening the windows while having the air con on makes it operate far less efficiently and forces it to work twice as hard. Instead of using up more coolant and more fuel (costing you more in the long run), just keep the windows closed and enjoy a cooler inside car temperature.

Clean car, clean air con!

When was the last time you gave the inside of your vehicle a clean? When you did clean it, did you pay any attention to the air con and vents? If not, you should!

Dirty cars make for dusty vents which are never ideal for air con. Bacteria can easily thrive in the nooks, crannies, and inner workings of your vehicle and are then pushed into the cabin when the air con is turned on.

So, cleaning the vents regularly and dusting in between the slots can help prevent dirt and debris from settling there. Using anti-bacterial wipes or sprays is best. This, in turn, will help improve the air quality inside the cabin which is especially great for drivers with allergies.

Recharge your air con often

One of the most common problems with vehicle air conditioning units is a lack of coolant (or ‘refrigerant’). Just like the other liquids in your car, coolant levels can dwindle over time. So, it needs to be topped up regularly in a process called ‘recharging’.

Check your vehicle user manual to see exactly how often it is recommended that you recharge your air con and stick to that schedule. It is usually every two to three years.

In between recharges, you should check the amount of coolant remaining so as to avoid any nasty surprises such as leaks. If coolant leaks it can damage the environment and, if the level gets too low, it may have to be drained entirely and refilled which is an extremely costly process.

If your air con isn’t performing at its best, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Tyre Pros team who can take care of it for you.