Here are three great ways to get the most out of your vehicle's air conditioning throughout the year.
Re-Circulate the Air in the Cabin
Most vehicle air conditioning systems have two buttons that let you choose where the air comes from that is circulated through your air conditioning system. One button generally shows an icon of a car with an arrow drawn through the windshield and the point of the arrow going into the car. This button means that your system will pull air in from the outside. The second button shows an icon of a car with an arrow inside of the car, going around in a half circle. This represenst re-circulating the air inside of the cabin through your air conditioning system. Some vehicles only have the second button; if it is pressed in, you are recirculating air inside of your vehicle, but it if is not pressed, you are pulling in air from the outside.
To get the most out of your air conditioning, start by pulling in fresh air from the outside. This will help get rid of any hot and stuffy air that is inside of your vehicle. Once your vehicle starts to feel cool, switch to re-circulating the air inside of your vehicle. Your vehicle's air conditioning will not have to work as hard to cool off this air since it has already cooled it off.
Keep Your Cabin Air Filter Clean
The air that goes through your air conditioner is all filtered through your cabin air filter. Your cabin air filter pulls out and removes dirt and dust from the air before it goes through your air conditioner and is pushed back into your vehicle. When your filter is working properly, it keeps the air you breathe clean and also reduces the stress on your air conditioning system. When your cabin air filter gets dirty and clogged, your vehicle's air conditioning then has to work harder to circulate the air through your vehicle.
To reduce the stress on your vehicle's air conditioning, it is smart to change out your air filter at least twice a year. A good rule of thumb is to change it out right when it starts to get hot and you start to use your air conditioning and then right when it starts to get cool and you switch more to the heater.
However, if you live in an area of the country that has high levels of smog and pollution, you will want to change out your vehicle's cabin air filter more frequently as it will have to work harder than air filters in vehicle's located in areas with lower levels of population. You should also change your filter more frequently if you are a high mileage driver.
Be Mindful of Where You Park
Finally, you need to be mindful of where you park when it is hot outside. If possible, try to park in the shade. If you can't find a shady spot, make sure you have a sunshade handy that you can throw up inside of your windshield. This will help lower the temperature in your vehicle, making it a little cooler when you get in and reducing the effort your air conditioner will have to go through to get your car's air cool again.
Use these three tips to keep your vehicle's air conditioning running as smoothly and as effectively as possible, and be sure to get your air conditioning inspected by your mechanic on a yearly basis to ensure that everything under the hood is working right as well. Take your car to a local mechanic like Williams Oil Filter Service Co. anytime you notice air conditioner problems.