11 Apr Car Air Conditioning Maintenance Tips for Summer
You know summer’s just around the corner when you get into your car and the temperature inside your cabin feels too hot to bear. This is the wrong time to be wondering if your AC is functioning properly to combat the summer humidity.
There are a bunch of ways to prevent this, and properly maintaining the AC in your car can ensure a long life for the system and effective conditioning right when you need it. Take a look at the top ways to maintain your AC for the summer heat in Maryland – you won’t believe how easy #8 is.
1. Avoid Pre-Cooling The Car
It can be tempting to try to cool your car down before you get in on a hot day. But doing so can actually make your air conditioning less effective. Instead, allow the air conditioning system to work its best while you are driving. The system is designed to work most efficiently when the car is in motion and the air is flowing through the vents.
Turn the fan on high speed once you start driving and only open the backseat windows for a brief period of 10 to 20 seconds to let out the hot air. This will help the cool air circulate more effectively and quickly lower the temperature inside the car. This tip will ensure that your passengers stay safe and comfortable throughout the summer.
2. Set AC To The Lowest Setting
It’s important to set your AC to the lowest setting if you want it to operate efficiently throughout the summer. This might seem counterintuitive, but a higher temperature will force the system to work harder and burn more fuel.
Normally, air conditioning systems in cars are designed to cool the air to around 3-4 degrees Celsius. And it’s best to use the fan for comfort, as a higher fan setting will cool the air faster but will also consume more energy. It might take a while to find the perfect balance, but it’s best to play with different settings and find what works best for your car.
3. Use The Defrost Mode Once A Week
Every week, you must run your AC on defrost mode for 10 minutes, with the coolest AC setting and maximum fan speed. This will help maintain gas pressure and ensure that the compressor works effectively. In addition to this, doing so can also prevent moisture buildup and mitigate mildew growth.
4. Check Air Filters
Regularly checking and cleaning your car’s air filters is an essential step in maintaining the performance of your vehicle’s air conditioning system. Blocked air filters can be the root cause of many AC issues, and therefore it’s important to wash them thoroughly at least once a week. This will help remove any dust, debris or dirt that may have accumulated in the filters and could be obstructing the airflow.
Cleaning air filters is quite easy. Just wash them with water or use a mild detergent if necessary. Rinse the filters thoroughly and let them dry completely before reinstalling them in the car.
5. Clean Dust & Dirt From AC Ducts
Cleaning your car’s air filters isn’t enough. You must also remove dirt and dust from AC ducts to prevent blockage of airflow. Not doing so can lead to the accumulation of dust and moisture in the car’s ducts, leading to poor air quality.
To clean these ducts, use a vacuum with a soft bristle attachment. You can also use a damp cloth to wipe down the ducts or remove any remaining dirt or dust.
Doing this on a regular basis will not only improve the performance of your car’s AC system but will also improve the air quality of the vehicle. This is particularly important for those with allergies or respiratory issues.
6. Check The Compressor
The compressor of a car can be the cause of a lot of issues and it’s not wise to ignore any unusual sounds coming from the compressor. These noises can be indicative of various issues with the driving belt, loosening of bolts securing the AC system or liquid refrigerant entering the compressor port.
These issues are concerning and must be addressed with regular maintenance or replacement. If you find anything wrong with the compressor, it’s best to consult the nearest service station & let them look for any potential issues.
7. Keep AC Components Lubricated
It’s common for an AC compressor to fail if it isn’t adequately lubricated. All AC components such as the compressor, pipelines and driving belt should be kept properly lubricated to avoid AC malfunctioning. If you observe AC gas oil stains on the compressor or on the pipeline, you should immediately consult a service center.
8. Use The Recirculation Mode
Using the recirculation mode on your car’s air conditioning system is a great way to improve its efficiency and keep the air inside your car clean and fresh. Compared to the fresh air mode, the recirculation mode allows the AC to work more quickly and strongly, resulting in faster cooling and a more comfortable ride.
In addition to its efficiency benefits, recirculation mode also blocks the entry of dirty air or unpleasant smells from outside. This can be particularly helpful during the summer months when there is a lot of dust and other pollutants in the air.
If you’re concerned about the quality of the air inside your car, using recirculation mode can be a great way to ensure that you and your passengers are breathing clean, fresh air. Just be sure to switch back to fresh air mode periodically to allow fresh air to circulate through the cabin.
Maintaining your car’s AC is quite simple, and if you follow all the tips mentioned above, you can rest assured that the AC system stays in the best condition possible. However, if you still find any issues with your car, it’s best to consult a professional and have it checked. At Hoffmaster’s, we can run diagnostics on your auto AC system to suggest quick repairs just in time for that summer road trip — it’s also part of our summer road trip checklist. Contact us today for a car inspection or AC repair.
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