Ma­ke the best of your car's air-con

George Herald - Auto Dealer - - Nuus -

With the hot sum­mer we­at­her ap­pro­a­ching, ma­ny mo­to­ris­ts will be ta­king full ad­van­ta­ge of their car’s air-con­di­ti­o­ning sy­stem. W­het­her t­hey will be u­sing it cor­rect­ly, though, is a­not­her mat­ter.

At le­ast, so says S­pa­nish car ma­nu­fac­tu­rer Se­at. The com­pa­ny has pro­vi­ded so­me tips on how to ma­ke su­re an air-con­di­ti­o­ning sy­stem is o­pe­ra­ting at its most ef­fecti­ve.

Se­at’s own re­se­arch shows that an in-car tem­pe­ra­tu­re of 35°C (not im­plau­si­ble as a car par­ked in the sun for a long pe­ri­od can re­ach 60°C in­si­de) can re­du­ce dri­ver re­acti­on ti­mes by 20%, com­pa­red to a tem­pe­ra­tu­re 10°C lo­wer.

One mig­ht well que­s­ti­on w­het­her a­ny­bo­dy would ac­tu­al­ly try to dri­ve in a car that was 35°C in­si­de wit­hout at le­ast o­pe­ning the win­dow, but Se­at’s tips on how to ma­ke the best use of an air-con­di­ti­o­ning sy­stem are u­se­ful.

One com­mon mis­ta­ke ma­de by dri­vers is to switch the air-con on full blast the mo­ment t­hey get in­to the car. Mo­to­ris­ts should rat­her first o­pen the doors and win­dows for a cou­ple of mi­nu­tes to al­low the hot air to es­ca­pe and cool­er air to en­ter the car. S­kip­ping t­his step me­ans the air-con­di­ti­o­ning sy­stem will on­ly re­ci­r­cu­la­te a lot of hot air at first.

A­not­her tip is to a­void poin­ting the air vents di­rect­ly to­wards you. T­his stops air from being e­ven­ly dis­tri­bu­ted a­round the car.

“It isn’t a mat­ter of tem­pe­ra­tu­re, but in which di­recti­on the air is flo­wing in­si­de the car,” says Án­gel Suá­rez of Se­at’s techni­cal centre. “The noz­z­les should be poin­ting up­wards, not to­wards pe­op­les’ fa­ces. Then the air flows all a­round the in­te­ri­or of the car and re­a­ches e­very pas­sen­ger.” If a car has cli­ma­te con­t­rol rat­her than a mo­re ba­sic air-con­di­ti­o­ning sy­stem, Se­at al­so re­com­mends u­sing the “Au­to” set­ting.

T­his con­trols the fan speed and w­het­her air is re-ci­r­cu­la­ted in the ca­bin or dra­wn from out­si­de, hel­ping to cool the car mo­re quick­ly and mi­ni­mi­sing fog­ging.

In ad­di­ti­on to the above, it is good practi­ce to use a car’s air-con­di­ti­o­ning on a re­gu­lar ba­sis, e­ven throug­hout the win­ter. T­his helps to en­s­u­re long-term re­li­a­bi­li­ty.

Re­gu­lar main­te­nan­ce such as re­pla­cing fil­ters in ti­me will keep it o­pe­ra­ting at its max­i­mum ef­fi­cien­cy.

Be a­wa­re that o­ver ti­me dirt and bacte­ria can build up in an air-con­di­ti­o­ning sy­stem, par­ti­cu­lar­ly one that is ra­re­ly u­sed. If the­re’s a stran­ge o­dour w­hen the air-con­di­ti­o­ning is run­ning, it is im­por­tant to ha­ve the sy­stem chec­ked and cle­a­ned by a spe­ci­a­list.

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