Owning a car involves a lot of care and responsibility. Apart from ensuring that the engine is in perfect condition you should not forget to properly maintain essential parts of your vehicle such as your car air-conditioning.
Summers are in full swing and even the best of car ACs may struggle to cool the interior of your car. Even if it does manage to cool the interior, the AC will draw a lot of power trying to do so and in turn affect the fuel efficiency of your vehicle.
Air-conditioning is an integral part of cars these days. Its main function is to keep the interiors of a car cool. Without the AC, the interiors of a car can get really stuffy and the people traveling inside may feel very uncomfortable especially if the climate is extremely hot.
Imagine the hassle and the stress if your car’s AC suddenly breaks down in extreme heat. To avoid this, early detection through regular car AC servicing is strongly recommended to easily identify if the air-conditioning system of your car functioning properly or not.
Keep it fit
Off course the first step is to keep you car AC up and running. It’s always a good idea to get your AC completely serviced before the beginning of summer season and get the refrigerant refilled if necessary.
Always park under shade
Always try to park your car under some shade and avoid parking under direct sunlight. Cars exposed to direct sunlight tend to become extremely hot from inside, due to trapped air, compared to ones parked under shade.
Use window shades
When you park your car, cover all the windows with sunshades, especially the windscreen. These can be bought at any car accessory shop and are not expensive. Using these shades will ensure that your car’s interior stays cooler for a longer period of time.
Use Air Press/ Window Visor
Air Press are acrylic or aluminum strips that fit over the cars windows and provide a kind of small awning over the windows. In rainy weather, this allows you to open the windows just a little to provide some ventilation to the car’s interior. However, you can also use this to counter the excessive cabin heat when your car is parked out in the hot. When you park the car, keep the windows open just a little bit that they stay hidden under the visor, so it won’t be a security threat. But at the same time, it will allow hot air building up inside the car to escape through this gap.
Vent the interiors
When the car is parked under sunlight, the air inside heats up, but since the car is sealed and there is nowhere for the air to escape, the interior may become nearly twice as hot compared to the outside temperature. In such circumstances it’s extremely difficult for your car AC to cool down the cabin no matter how good the air conditioning system is.
When you start driving the car, don’t immediately turn on the AC. Instead, roll down all the windows and turn the AC control to fresh air mode, since the outside air will be relatively cooler than the trapped air inside the car. Switch on the AC after driving a couple of minutes and then roll up the car’s windows. Switch the AC to re-circulation mode which will cool faster as it re-circulates interior air, instead of having to cool fresh air from outside.
If you have the time before starting off, open all the doors of the car and let it vent out for a couple of minutes. A trick with hatchbacks and SUVs is to open all doors and then open and rapidly shut the hatch or boot door, this will drive out all the hot air from inside the car quite quickly. In sedans just quickly opening and closing doors a couple of times can get a good amount of trapped air to escape within no time.
Position the AC vents correctly
Be sure to point the ac vents directly at you or the passengers. It’s important for you or the passengers to feel the cooling effect rather than ‘waiting’ for the cabin to get cooler. Position the vents towards your face, hands or mid body.
Related: What To Do If Your Car Overheats
Remember the whole idea is to make it easier for your car’s AC to do its job. By following these tips you are sure to experience a better AC performance during the scorching summers.
A computer animation professional with over 23 years of industry experience having served in leading organizations, TV channels & production facilities in Pakistan. An avid car enthusiast and petrolhead with an affection to deliver quality content to help shape opinions. Formerly written for PakWheels as well as major publications including Dawn. Founder of CarSpiritPK.com