SHOP for TIRES
How to Keep Your AC Cool and Heater Warm Through the Seasons
As citizens of a high-tech world, we take for granted technologies that have been around for decades. Your car AC and heating systems are among some of the most important inventions of the century. Not only did they improve everyone's level of comfort behind the steering wheel, but they have increased the safety of drivers and passengers as well.
How do you make sure you keep your AC cool and your heater warm through the seasons? We have some tips for you - so read on and find out more.
How Do the AC and Heater Systems Work?
To fully understand how to maintain your vehicle's cooling and heating systems, you first need to learn more about the way they work (and, even more importantly, the way they are connected to each other).
Although it may seem odd to someone who is not familiar with the build of an AC/heating system, your car's heating capacities are seamless with its cooling ones. In short, when you turn on a cold engine, the coolant moves through the hoses into the heater core. There, the air travels through the core in a continuous line, gets heated with the help of a fan, and is then ejected into the vehicle's cabin through the air vents.
Your coolant temperature is firmly connected to the temperature of the air that reaches the cabin. The warmer the coolant is, the warmer the air in the car will be. Considering that overheating is the most common heater-related issue encountered by drivers, it is important to recharge your coolant as soon as it becomes too warm.
There is a close link between the way your car is heated and the way your car is cooled down, so maintaining the entire system is essential, no matter the season. As a rule of thumb, if you want your vehicle to be functional from all points of view, you will always have to care for all its separate parts.
The Air Conditioning Maintenance Basics
A wonderful innovation for the hot days of summer, the AC tends to be completely forgotten as soon as the first snowflakes fall. Still, it is essential to remember to maintain your AC, too - otherwise, you might wake up in a full-on hot July without a properly functional air conditioning system in your car. Not only would this be uncomfortable, but it could turn into an expensive affair, as well.
What are some of the absolute essentials to remember about car AC maintenance?
- Regardless of the temperature outside, it is highly recommended that you turn on your AC at least two times a week for approximately ten minutes. This will help you ensure all the parts of the system function in optimum parameters. After all, those hoses, valves, and intricate parts of the AC need to be put to work if you want to make sure they are properly lubricated.
- In addition to ensuring the right functioning of your AC, turning it on during the winter months is also beneficial for the car itself. Using the air conditioner in the cold months can help you get rid of the humidity in the car, and it can also improve the visibility when the windshield is affected by fog.
- When you have the car serviced, remember to ask the mechanic to check the air conditioner’s refrigerant level. If necessary, be sure to recharge the gas (and do this even if it's wintertime and you are unlikely to use the AC). In general, air conditioning systems should be recharged every two years, so it is recommended that you do this on a regular basis.
- Get your car's AC to the service station at least once a year, preferably before the summer (so your air conditioning system is 100% functional by the time the warm days kick in).
- Remember that ACs usually ooze with bacteria and fungi. This is especially important for those who suffer from allergies or asthma, but it can affect just about anyone else. Therefore, it is more than advisable that you regularly sanitize your air conditioning system to remove all the potential contaminants (as well as the “musty” odor usually associated with unsanitary ACs).
Maintaining your AC (and your heating system) is extremely important for several reasons. Of course, your comfort will come as a priority, but what is even more crucial is your safety. Sure, people have been driving cars without heating and cooling systems for decades before the technology was finally implemented. But, at the end of the day, your comfort as a driver is closely connected to your safety (and that of those who are in the same vehicle as you).
Keep all your car's parts in full functioning mode always, and you will be safer on the road!