One of the best joys in life is cranking up the air conditioner on a particularly hot day and feeling the cool air on your face. One could even argue that a working air conditioner is only second to the engine in terms of importance, especially if you live in a sunny area. However, improper use of this feature can lead to long-term damage to the vehicle.
An HVAC technician should help you deal with any problem with your air conditioning. But wouldn’t you rather avoid these issues in the first place? Here are a few tips and tricks to help you improve your air conditioner’s efficiency and performance. Let’s begin.
1. Park your vehicle in the shade.
It may sound like a no-brainer, but it bears repeating: always park your car in the shade, especially on a hot day. The higher the temperature inside your vehicle, the more energy the air condition has to expend to cool the interior. Parking your car in a shaded spot prevents the sun from turning the cabin into an oven.
2. Wait for the hot air to leave.
If the temperature inside the vehicle is too high for your liking, here’s a quick way to get rid of all the hot air: roll down the rear windows and open the driver’s door multiple times. This action will immediately get rid of trapped hot air and lower the temperature enough for you to enter the vehicle without much discomfort.
3. Avoid pre-cooling.
Many drivers switch the air conditioning on while the car is idle and wait for the interior to cool before driving. But this practice does more harm than good. Air conditioners are designed to work while the car is running. If the engine is idle, the compressor produces less power. Pre-cooling the interior is a waste of precious fuel and time.
If you want to cool the vehicle fast, roll down the rear windows, turn the air conditioning on, and start driving. Make sure the front windows are closed to keep the air flowing within the vehicle. If your car has a sunroof, use that as well. The cool air will travel to the back and force hot air out.
4. Start at the lowest setting.
Since vehicle interiors tend to be hotter than the outdoors while parked, you want the air conditioner to work smarter, not harder. When switching the air conditioner on, start at the lowest setting. That ensures that the system draws air from outside the vehicle, where the temperature is lower. Conversely, using the maximum setting will force the system to use air within the car, which is hotter than outside air. Start low, and the cabin starts to cool down, crank up the settings.
5. Recirculate cabin air.
If it’s hotter outside, use the recirculation function when using the air conditioner. Typically, the system draws air from the outdoors. Once the temperature inside the cabin has stabilized, enable air recirculation so that only cool air will move within the vehicle.
A properly functioning air conditioner is an essential component of any vehicle, especially during the summer months. These tips and tricks will help you keep your air conditioner in good condition. Avoid overexerting the system and have it inspected yearly by a skilled auto mechanic.