The weathermen have predicted a pretty “harsh” summer in 2019 for most parts of India, following a fairly extended winter. And this means your car’s air-conditioning is going to have to work hard to keep you cool.
If you’ve not been paying attention to the air-con during the cooler months, it’s time to get it all spruced up for the heat ahead. Here are some pointers on how to get the AC checked and also make it more effective this season.
Checking Your Car’s AC
While issues with the car’s air-conditioning system will have to be checked by a professional technician, there are basic checks you can carry out to ensure it is functioning properly.
Cleaning the Condenser: The condenser or evaporator unit of the car’s AC is usually located right in the front of the car, just behind the grill and ahead of the radiator. This can get clogged with dirt over time, leading to reduced cooling efficiency. Get it pressure washed, taking care not to damage the fins.
Clean the AC Filter: Most cars are equipped with an AC filter. You can check where this is located in your car by looking at the instruction manual. It is usually behind glove compartment or below the dashboard in many cars. It needs to be replaced periodically during routine service. It can be cleaned intermittently as well, by just blowing it with compressed air.
Increasing the AC’s Efficiency
If your car’s AC is in good condition, here are some ways in which you can make it more efficient – that is make it cool faster.
Use That Sunroof
Sunroof-equipped cars actually have it better in hot summer. They can help vent the hot air out of the car much faster. Hot air rises – a basic physics principle – and so opening the sunroof while running the AC at full blast for a few minutes will ensure the interior cools much faster.
Quickly Vent The Interiors
If you don’t have a sunroof, when you get into the car, don’t turn on the AC at full blast immediately. Instead, switch the AC to fresh air mode and roll down the windows. After a couple of minutes switch to recirculation mode, close the windows and turn up the AC.
Another trick is to open one window and then open and shut the opposite door rapidly before getting into the car. In a hatchback or SUV, open and shut the hatch while keeping the front windows open, will quickly drive out the hot air inside.
Use Window Visors
One way of preventing heat build up inside the car is to leave the windows open just about a couple of centimetres. However, to ensure it’s safe to do that, install window visors that cover the top of the window, allowing you to keep the glass open slightly. This let’s the hot air escape, keeping the car relatively cooler.
Use Sun Shades
The reflective sun shades that can be placed to cover the windscreen when the car is parked are quite effective in keeping the interiors cool longer. Avoid the net type of sun shade as that doesn’t keep out the heat, it only cuts the light.
Use an AC Curtain
In vehicles like SUVs, which have large cabin space, the AC has to work longer and harder to cool the entire cabin. If you are not using the boot area or third row of seats, you can install an ‘AC curtain’ which is a transparent sheet that blocks off the rear, effectively reducing the cabin are that needs cooling. This will make the AC more effective.
Got more tips on how to increase your car AC’s efficiency? Share them in the comments below.
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