The air conditioning system in the car: tips and tricks for optimal use

The air conditioning system in the car: tips and tricks for optimal use

Reading time: ca. 5 min | airco well® Blog

The car air conditioner: Once a luxury, now a standard feature

The air conditioning system in the car ensures pleasant temperatures and a clear view all year round. Let’s take a closer look at the functionality, maintenance and possible problems. The correct operation is crucial, a lot can be done wrong here.

For most people, sweating or hot flashes in the car have long been a thing of the past. Whereas air conditioning was considered a luxury until a few years ago, nowadays almost all new cars have air conditioning on board. In the summer, it keeps the car pleasantly cool and in the winter, it keeps the humidity in check and the windows from fogging. But like many things in the car, the air conditioning system must be properly operated, cared for and main-tained.

Refrigerator principle

The air conditioning system works on a similar principle as a classic refrigerator. A compres-sor, driven in the car by the engine with a V-belt, compresses a special gas which becomes hot in the process. In the condenser, the gas is cooled by the airflow and becomes liquid. As soon as the pressure in the cooling circuit drops and the refrigerant evaporates again, it cools down to about 2 degrees Celsius. During the transition to the gaseous state, heat is extracted from the air by refrigerant, so that a cool breeze flows from the vents into the vehicle interior.

A clear view

In addition to the temperature, the air conditioning system also lowers the humidity: The hu-midity condenses at low temperatures at the evaporator and the remaining water is dis-charged into the open air. The dehumidified air not only makes being in the car more bearable on muggy days, but also prevents the windows from fogging up in autumn or winter.

The AC switches off below 5 degrees Celsius

At outside temperatures of less than 5 degrees Celsius, the air conditioning system switches itself off. The compressor, which is responsible for the cooling performance, could otherwise freeze the evaporator. If the temperature is below 5 degrees Celsius, you should clean the windscreen regularly, because a dirty windscreen binds the moist air particles more easily and therefore fogs up more quickly than a clean one. To remove moisture from the air, you can, for example, place a cotton bag filled with cat litter or a special granulate on the dashboard.

In extreme heat: Open all doors and windows before driving off.

Tips for operating the air conditioning system

Do not set the air conditioning system too cold and do not direct the airflow directly at your head or neck, as you could easily catch a cold. The ideal temperature is between 22 and 25 degrees.

In extreme heat: open all windows before driving off.

If you have to get into the car on a hot summer’s day, it is best to open all doors and windows before setting off so that the accumulated hot air can escape first. In order to then cool down the interior as quickly as possible, you should briefly switch to recirculation mode at maximum cooling capacity.

Switch on regularly

Air conditioning should also be switched on in winter when the temperature is above 5 de-grees Celsius. Regular operation ensures its functionality and significantly increases its ser-vice life. If the air conditioning system is idle for too long, moving parts and seals can become porous, the risk of losing refrigerant increases and the oil in the compressor can degrade. This can lead to costly repairs and shorter maintenance intervals. However, short-time operation of less than 10 minutes should be avoided.

Reduce the risk of accidents

Turning on the air conditioning system makes sense not only for the sake of comfort, but also from a health perspective: Even 27 degrees Celsius inside the vehicle cause the pulse rate and body temperature to rise and concentration and reaction times to drop. Studies show that a rise in temperature from 25 to 35 degrees Celsius increases the risk of accidents by around 20 percent.

Bacteria and mold can grow in the air conditioner.

Avoid the formation of bacteria, fungi and odours

Switch off the cooling function of the air conditioning system shortly before the end of the journey, but not the fan. This way, no residual moisture that favours bacterial and fungal infes-tation as well as unpleasant odours remains in the system.

Invisible germs, fungi and bacteria

The vehicle interior begins to smell when dust or pollen form bacterial and mould cultures in the moist environment on the evaporator surface. People with a weak immune system are particularly at risk here, as they can develop allergic reactions ranging from chronic perma-nent rhinitis to bronchial asthma.

Regular air conditioning service with airco well®

Therefore, a regular air conditioning service should be carried out with airco well®, during which the evaporator and the pollen filter environment are thoroughly cleaned. The Associa-tion of German Engineers (VDI) also recommends regular cleaning in its guideline 6032. The cleaning procedure described there is to be applied every two years at the latest. airco well® is based on this procedure and has been proven to meet the highest standards with its hygien-ic cleaning.

Cleaning man

All cleaned up! Even the air conditioning?

You have already cleaned everything in your household and office and now you want to clean your vehicle? Don't forget your air conditioning system and find a certified specialist workshop.