With summer on the horizon and the mercury slowly rising, some of you may be brushing the dust off the A/C button for the first time this season. Climate control and A/C systems, when properly maintained are a breath of fresh air for an otherwise flustered motorist.
But did you know that by giving the Air Conditioning system the “cold shoulder” you could inadvertently be accommodating a breeding ground for bacteria, not only leading to an undesirable smell, but also to potentially harmful consequences for the occupants.
However it’s not all doom and gloom, here are 5 top facts you may not have known about Air Conditioning and Climate Control systems and how to keep them ice cold and fungus free.
Top 5 Facts
1. Air conditioning systems naturally loose over 150g (approximately 20%) of their gas each year. This figure will increase when the system is not used as the seals can harden and allow more gas to escape. Using the system throughout the year will reduce the amount of gas lost. Re-gassing the system ensures that the system is at the optimum temperature for keeping cool once the sun comes out.
2. An air conditioning service and re gas is recommended every 18 months. This figure varies between manufacturers. However a re-gas every 18 months will ensure the system is working as it should and this service will also highlight any potential faults or leaks within the system.
3. A/C systems require a disinfectant treatment periodically. As mentioned earlier, A/C systems can harbour some pretty harmful bacteria. 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. The bacteria also produce a bad smell, it’s highly recommended that if the treatment is not applied as part of the service this should also be carried out at the time of the re gas.
4. The system should be used all year round. 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 once a week. Many modern systems default to the “On” setting and it is beneficial to leave them this way.
5. Air-conditioning can have a minor affect on fuel consumption when driving at low speeds, but has very little impact on the motorway. During the winter months, the most energy efficient time to switch the A/C on and allow the system to circulate is on the motorway, as the affect on fuel consumption is almost negligible.
Beat the heat this summer with a Motor Marque air conditioning re-gas for only £29.