All the air-con information you need to get the most from your A/C unit

Your car’s air conditioning unit shouldn’t just be responsible for keeping you cool in summer.

It offers benefits all year round, keeping your cabin at the optimum temperature, eliminating condensation, speeding up the demisting process, and more.

Keeping your system in tip-top condition means adhering to a regular car air conditioning service schedule.

You can carry out the maintenance yourself in most cases, but if you’d prefer to find an expert to carry out the work for you, Fixter is your perfect ‘car air conditioning recharge near me’ guide. They’ve got garages ready and waiting to help.

But what can you do in between refills and services to protect its health and get the best results from your unit?

Tip 1 – Use the auto function or climate control wherever possible

If your A/C has an automatic or climate control function, hit the button and let it get on with what it was designed for. Hit the switch and forget about it.

This intelligent component uses sensors to understand what’s going on inside and make the relevant adjustments. It regulates the fans and temperature settings to make sure your car is at the prime temperature and applies the changes as quickly and simply as possible.

Tip 2 – Stop turning your air-con to full-blast the moment you get in the car

It’s tempting and seems the natural thing to do, but it’s not the best way to cool your car down on entry.

Before the compressor has had a chance to start cooling the air, you’ll just be moving the existing hot air around your car at high speed.

Start it in low mode and gradually increase it as the air becomes colder.

Tip 3 – Use the lowest temperature setting

Your air-conditioning cools the air to a set temperature (38°F or 3°C). If you want your car to be a little warmer than that, use the coldest setting still, but turn down the fan speed.

The trick here is, that to achieve a warmer temperature, your air-conditioning has to use additional fuel and processes to heat the chilled air back up! Lower the fan speed and the cold air is distributed slower—creating the temperature balance without the excess work.

Tip 4 – Make sure your cabin filter is clean

Without optimal airflow, your air-conditioning could have to work much harder to achieve the same result.

Not only is it inefficient, it means having to pay for an air conditioning recharge long before you should have to. You’ll save money in the long-term by paying your car air conditioning recharge cost less frequently.

Having your A/C maintenance include your filters as well as just topping up your car air conditioning gas should be standard.

Tip 5 – Don’t pre-cool your car before driving

Your air-con works at its best when your car engine is working harder. The compressor runs faster when your engine runs faster, so is more efficient when it’s not just idling. The A/C will reach the optimum temperature faster, and more economically, during driving than sat on the driveway.

Tip 6 – Give your air-conditioning a helping hand—wind down the windows

When it’s really hot, turn up the fan and open the rear windows a little, if only for a minute. What happens then is, the fans force the hot air out of your car’s cabin.

Keep the front windows closed though. If the air escapes from the front of the car, the air in the back will still be hot and stagnant.

Tip 7 – The truth behind the recirculate button

If you select the recirculation button when you get in the car, your air-con is only going to move the existing hot air around the car. You should turn it off while it introduces fresh cold air direct from your compressor.

Once the cabin is suitably cooled, turn on the recirculate feature. It will chill less fresh air by working with what’s already cool within the cabin.

Apart from that, it’s a good idea to use the recirculate option while the A/C is running. If you notice the windows misting up, knock it off for a while. This will introduce dry air into the vehicle from outside and help with condensation. The same thing happens if you open the windows a little.

Tip 8 – Point the jets towards the roof—not at yourself

Pointing the jets at the roof of the car will spread the cold air around the vehicle faster, with an even distribution. This cools the car more effectively keeping everyone nice and cool—not just the driver.

Tip 9 – Consider your stop/start function usage

Although the stop/start usage is designed to save fuel in heavy traffic, it will disrupt the effectiveness of your air-conditioning. The compressor works in conjunction with your engine, so when the engine turns off, so does your A/C.

Tip 10 – Shut down your A/C unit in the correct manner

When you reach the end of your journey, turn off the air-conditioning before switching off your engine.

If you keep the fan running, it will clear the evaporator and surrounding components. By doing that, you’ll encourage less moss growth and bacteria to develop. As well as avoiding some nasty smells and possible respiratory issues, you’ll help extend the life of the unit.

Looking after your air-conditioning

Your air-conditioning is one more component that with a little care and attention will offer you years of efficient service.

In time, all units will need refilling with coolant gas. It’s not a complicated job if you’re a reasonably competent home mechanic, and a car air conditioning recharge kit can help you save a little money.

Booking an air conditioning regas with Fixter couldn’t be easier – we’ll collect your car from your home and deliver it back to you after the work is complete. So you’ll be without your car for even less time than you’d expect.

How’s that for handy?

About Fixter

Fixter is revolutionising the car maintenance industry, one repair at a time. Fixter was founded to make car maintenance as easy as booking a taxi. Digital, transparent and stress-free, with world-class customer service. Since launching in Manchester in 2017, Fixter has expanded to more than 100 towns and cities across the UK and provided thousands of car owners with honest, convenient and affordable car repair services.