How to properly use your car’s air conditioner

How to use your air conditioner in the most efficient way?

You have just loaded the car that has been parked in the sun. Inside there is an oven. Start by opening the front and rear driver and passenger side windows to ventilate the cabin. The air stream thus created will reduce the temperature much more quickly and will save you from having to turn on the air conditioner. Once the temperature returns to normal, carefully close the windows before turning on the air conditioner.

Under scorching summer temperatures, it is better to alternate the use of air conditioning and fan, which will allow you to moderate fuel consumption.

How to properly adjust the air conditioning?

If you don’t want to end the day with a sore throat due to a high-amplitude thermal shock, it’s not recommended to have a very large temperature difference between the inside of the car and the outside. 5 to 6°C is a good average. So, if the outside temperature is around 32°, it is unreasonable to want to drive at 21°. If you drive around 25/26°, the difference will be enough to make the cabin temperature quite bearable.

Also, for efficient use, direct the ventilation vents to the forearms and legs, which will be pleasantly refreshed.

What is the impact of air conditioning on your vehicle’s consumption?

The operation of the air conditioning compressor leads to excessive fuel consumption. If Ademe (Environment and Energy Management Agency) is to be believed, when you use your air conditioner on the road, whether departmental, national or road, you consume 10 to 20% more fuel. In the city, due to traffic jams, your car’s consumption increases by 25 to 35% (these are general data, which vary according to the type of engine and your driving style).

And, on average, if you use the air conditioning all the time, you will have 5% better fuel consumption throughout the year.

However, driving with the windows open above 80-100 km/h is not the solution either, as the air intake thus created will “stop” your car, which will lose its aerodynamics and consume even more fuel.

Does the air conditioning have to be on all the time?

If possible, turn off the air conditioning when stuck in traffic jams, which again will prevent excessive fuel consumption.

Also, not using the air conditioner all the time will prolong the life of your compressor. By turning off the latter a few kilometers before reaching your destination, you will raise the hot air from the engine in the pipes and expel the moisture accumulated during the trip, which will prevent the emergence of unpleasant odors.

Heat wave: how to properly use your car's air conditioner

What interview?

In order to function properly, your vehicle’s air conditioning must undergo regular maintenance at least once every two years to check the refrigerant gas level and the general condition of the circuit. This maintenance also cleans the air outlets and prevents bad smells. Don’t forget to change the filter that guarantees good quality ambient air.

Otherwise, beware of bacteria and fungi that open the door to all sorts of unexplained allergies. Likewise, maintenance makes it possible to check all the components of the air conditioning system, from the dryer to the compressor, not forgetting the sensors, the condenser, as well as the refrigerant level that allows the set to function.

Is your air conditioner no longer cold?

If your air conditioner no longer cools, it is simply possible that there is a lack of refrigerant gas in the circuit. In this case, it is essential that the latter be completely checked to verify that it does not contain leaks and then recharge the circuit in a specialized garage. You should know that an air conditioning recharge costs €50 to €60, but replacing a condenser costs on average €150 and a compressor €400. Hence the importance of ensuring the proper maintenance of the whole.

Heat wave: how to properly use your car's air conditioner

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