Air conditioning in a vehicle is crucial during the summer months as it can make a long journey in the heat bearable. As it is relied upon regularly, it is vital that it is in tip-top condition.
The last thing you need when driving a long distance in the summer is the air conditioning in your vehicle to malfunction or stop working altogether.
What many drivers are unaware of is that over time the air conditioning systems within cars lose the gas they need to operate, which can leave them struggling to cope with the demands motorists and their passengers place on it during the height of summer.
How does it work?
Despite many of us relying on the humble car air conditioning regularly, few people know how it works. Many believe it cools the air in a vehicle, when in fact it removes the heat from a confined space.
Air conditioning in vehicles is made up of a mechanical compressor, an expression valve, an evaporator and the condenser, with a refrigerant gas flowing through the sealed system at all times.
The compressor pressurises the refrigerant which gets hot as it absorbs the heat around it, which is then circulated through a series of tubes that disperses the heat, making the cabin a more comfortable place to be.
As the gas leaks from the system over time, it is important to have a regular car air conditioning service every two years, to ensure the system is running at its optimum condition.
Why should you service your air conditioning system?
Using trained technicians to service an air conditioning system within a vehicle when you think a problem has occurred or it has been some time since the last service, ensures that issues can be detected and resolved at the earliest possible stage.
Not only does this ensure you can set off on a long, hot journey with the knowledge you’ll be cool and comfortable, it saves money in the long-term, as an expensive repair will be less likely.
With air conditioning systems losing gases slowly over a number of years, getting a regular service will enable technicians to recharge the system quickly and easily, while you wait.
As well as making sure you aren’t left melting on a sweltering day, getting your air conditioning checked out by a trained technician means that you won’t loose cooling efficiency or make your engine work harder to power a weakened system, which can result in higher fuel usage.
Checking the air conditioning is not usually part of a routine vehicle service, so it is important that if your vehicle is over two years old that it is checked and attended to as necessary.
Why do you need air conditioning?
Many people say that it is only hot a few days or weeks a year, so they can do without a fully-functioning air conditioning system in their vehicle, however this is too simplistic a view, as they have other benefits too.
Air conditioning can provide warm, dehumidified air in the winter months that can de-mist steamed up windows, it can filter pollutants and airborne particles from the air and provide an odour-free environment in the car.
With these in mind it is important drivers take their car for an air conditioning service as soon as possible.