Most modern vehicles are fitted with air conditioning or climate control as standard.
Air conditioning (A/C) systems work independently of the heating systems and are used to chill the ambient temperature air which is then vented into the cabin.
Climate Control systems are able to regulate and maintain temperatures ranging between approximately 16 and 32 degrees. The temperature is selected using dashboard mounted controls.
To ensure optimum performance of the systems and to make sure you are able to control temperatures in the vehicle all year round you are advised that the A/C and Climate Control systems should be used continuously or at least run briefly on the cold setting at least once a week.
If the system is not run for extended periods of time (particularly over the winter period) then problems can begin to arise. During this time when there are cold and damp conditions, condensation builds up on the evaporator (a heat exchanger) and this becomes the ideal breeding ground for mould and fungi. As the mould and fungi grow bacterial spores are formed and these can have harmful effects on the vehicle’s occupants.
In the summer months the A/C is used and bad smelling odours produced by the bacteria in the mould and fungi are vented into the cabin. This not only results in poor air quality and an unpleasant driving experience but can also cause a complaint known as ‘sick car syndrome’ this is where the bacterial spores cause flu like symptoms when breathed in by those sensitive respiratory systems.
The best way to ensure optimum performance from your A/C or Climate Control system is to use it all year round; however there are some extra things you can do to help…..
Air Conditioning Re-Gas: Air conditioning systems naturally loose over 150gsm (approximately 20%) of their gas each year. Re-gassing the system ensures that the system is at the optimum temperature for keeping cool once the sun comes out.
Air Conditioning Service: In addition to re-gassing your A/C system a service will also check all of the components of the system to make sure they are working effectively and most importantly will also cycle a disinfectant treatment through the system to kill of any bacteria which may have formed.