How to Maximize Your Car’s Air Conditioning
Cranking your car’s air conditioning is a must under the summer sun. But, sometimes no matter how high you crank the dial, the cool air is just not well, cool enough. If your A/C is behaving a bit subpar when you need it the most, consider the steps below, curated by Consumer Reports writer Patrick Olsen who sought advice from the engineers at the CR Auto Testing Center, to optimize your car’s air conditioning.
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Since your air conditioning unit works more effectively when you’re on the go, don’t waste time idling or trying to cool off the interior before you hit the gas; if the interior is unbearably hot, take about 10-20 seconds to roll down the rear windows, but keep the front windows closed.
Bring the temperature down as low as possible (only if your car doesn’t have automatic climate control, which automatically handles the necessary adjustments).
“Setting to the lowest temp and adjusting the fan makes the car air conditioning more efficient, will dry out the air less, and can actually save some fuel. Why’s that? In a typical A/C system, the air is cooled to 38 degrees. If you set the temp higher, you are actually forcing the system to re-heat your air, which takes more effort, burning more fuel,” reports Olsen.
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If you don’t want your backseat passengers to scowl at you, resist activating the recirculation mode, which only lavishes the front seat passengers with cool air.
“If you’ve got a newer car that has an auto start/stop system, turn it off. This feature saves fuel, but it can also keep the car air conditioning compressor from running when it shuts the engine off,” warns Olsen.
A dirty cabin filter is a huge obstacle to your car’s air conditioning, so take a moment to check it; depending on how easy it is to get to the cabin filter, you may be able to change it yourself. If not, seek assistance from an automotive professional.
Keeping your A/C running as efficiently as possible will make your summer drives cooler than ever.
News Source: Consumer Reports