It’s been years since air conditioning became available to most of drivers; it no longer is a luxury. Technically speaking, it is quite durable so long as you take proper care of it. Here are a couple of tips to help you keep your air conditioning in perfect working order for long.
Not only does air conditioning require regular checkups but it also has to be used properly, both in hot summers and in freezing cold. Our tips will help you keep it in good working order.
How to take care of your aircon?
- Before you turn on air conditioning, let in some air
Hot days can warm the inside of your car up to impossible temperatures; it will be much hotter inside than outside. This is why, before you turn on the aircon, it is a good idea to open the windows for a few minutes. The temperature will drop anyway and your aircon will simply have less to do.
- Close the windows when turning on the aircon
It may sound simple but it works wonders. Close the windows and the cooled air won’t escape.
Use AC at least once a week
Aircon mechanism includes oil that is distributed with the use of a coolant. If left unused for a long time, oil is not spread peroperly in the compressor, so when you turn the AC on, the compressor is not lubricated properly. This is why it is best not to let aircon stay idle for longer, even when it is cold outside. 15 minutes once a week will make wonders, so do try to use aircon from time to time.
- Use aircon to remove steam from windows
When the temperature is low enough to not force you to use aircon, use it anyway – it will help you remove all the unwanted steam. Not only is it faster than warming the windows up but it also makes the air inside less damp.
- Have AC checkups every 10,000 km or once a year
Cabin filter is replaced and the whole AC is cleaned during every checkup. Cabin filter, which is also called a “dust filter,” makes sure the air is cooled. When it needs replacing, it mixes air rather than reducing its temperature, so you need to have it replaced as often as necessary.
When it comes to cleaning (i.e. disinfecting) the aircon, there are two methods available. The older method, which is still popular, uses ozone as cleaning agent; the ozone generator is left inside a closed car for a couple of minutes so it can get rid of all the bacteria, mites and dirt. The other, newer method, uses ultrasound in a similar way. Whichever method you opt for, apply it to the car once a year; best if it is done before winter.
- Driving in harsh conditions? Clean the AC every 6 months
Some vehicles should have aircon cleaned twice a year: in spring and autumn. You definitely need to clean aircon often if you regularly drive on crushed stone roads or in huge, polluted cities, and park the car among trees.
- Replace the drier every two to three years
It is one of the most expensive air conditioning parts: it can cost anything between 150 abd 450 PLN. Still, a properly working drier prevents unwanted damp from accumulating in your aircon. Bacteria, mold and fungi can only grow in damp conditions, so it is important to have a properly working drier. There is one more thing to consider: the damper the aircon, the greater the risk that its metal elements will become rusty.
- Unpleasant smell, hissing and steam on windows mean your AC needs servicing
Sometimes aircon can tell you what it needs itself. If you can smell it (and the smell is bad), or if windows won’t get drier despite the conditioning working, it is high time you visited an aircon service.
- Remember to check coolant level
Hardly any aircon is so watertight it does not require pouring in some coolant from time to time. In most cases you will only need to add some 10% of coolant per year but if you can see its level regularly decreasing, you need to go to the service. Refilling the coolant costs ca. 150-200 PLN and should be done by a professional.
- Clean your aircon at professional services
Never change the filters and clean the aircon on your own. If you want it well maintained, let the professionals do their job: they have all the equipment and knowledge needed to check what needs to be done and how it should be done.
How to take proper care of your aircon, or 10 ways to make sure your ACis always fine
Remember that a properly maintained aircon substantially improves driving comfort in summer and keeps you and your family healthy. Damp and polluted AC can give you a cold, different infections, or even asthma. In order to make sure your driving does not damage your health, rememeber about cleaning the aircon on a regular basis. It is yet another thing for the driver to remember about.