Are you using your car air conditioning wrong? These common mistakes could be leaving you hot and bothered.
Plenty of motorists aren’t using their climate control correctly – this is how to make sure your car stays as cool as possible while the mercury rises
WITH the nation still basking in scorching temperatures, drivers are relying on their air conditioning to give them a break from the heat.
But plenty of motorists could be using their air con wrong, leaving them sweating in the driver’s seat.
With temperatures heating up, drivers will want to get the most out of their air con
Spanish carmaker, SEAT, has revealed some of the most common mistakes drivers make when trying to cool down their vehicle.
From blasting the AC too soon to pointing the jets in the wrong direction, getting your car to the perfect temperature is something of a fine art.
And according to the manufacturer, a hot car can have an impact on drivers’ reaction times.
A cabin with a sweltering 35C temperature can see reaction speed drop by 20 per cent, compared to a cool 25C interior.
Top 5 most common air con mistakes
- Turning the AC on full blast straight away: It’s tempting to turn the air-con on to maximum as soon as you get in the car. But if you don’t open the windows, you’ll just be recirculating hot air. Instead, open the doors and lower the windows for a minute or two before shutting it all up and cranking up the AC.
- Using the air recirculation option: Keeping it on can make the windows fog and reduce visibility, and also make it more difficult to quickly cool the car down. Most cars will have an “Auto’ “option, which can regulate itself to prevent fog while keeping drivers and passengers cool.
- Pointing the air jets toward you: While you may feel colder, pointing the jets at you stops the car getting an even distribution of air. Angling the jets towards the roof lets the cool air spread around the car more effectively and allows it to reach everyone.
- Not turning on the air conditioning in the morning: Some summer mornings might seem cool, but the sun can heat up your car quickly. It’s still a good idea to keep the air con on to prevent windows from fogging up when the outside temperature rises.
- Not performing regular maintenance: Just like the oil, tyres or brake fluid, the air conditioning system needs regular maintenance. Cabin air filters need to be changed every 10,000 to 15,000 miles to make sure they are working properly.
Using the ‘auto’ circulation option can help cool down the cabin quickly.
So it’s even more important Brits get their air con working properly, as we approach another weekend with the mercury expected to reach 30C.
The most common mistake drivers make is turning their climate control up full blast as soon as they get in the car.
But all that does is recirculate the same hot air around your car.
The quickest way to get it cool is to open doors and windows for a minute while the systems gets started, then close the car up and turn your air con to the coldest setting.
Pointing air vents towards the roof is the best way to lower the temperature inside
And drivers who point the jets directly towards themselves could actually be making the rest of the car hotter.
Pointing jets towards the roof lets cool air spread around the cabin, and lowers the overall temperature for everyone in the car, rather than cooling off just one person.
Drivers who keep the air recirculation option switched on will also find it more difficult to quickly cool down their car.
Using the “auto” option will mean your cabin holds onto cool air, but circulates enough outside to make sure your windows don’t fog up.
Keeping up regular maintenance on your air conditioning will also make sure your system is working to its full capacity when you need it most.
Angel Suarez, an engineer at the SEAT Technical Centre, said: “Open the doors and lower the windows for a minute before turning on the air conditioning to naturally lower the temperature in the interior.”
“If rear passengers say they can’t feel the cool air, then the nozzles could be set incorrectly.
“It isn’t a matter of temperature, but in which direction the air is flowing inside the car.
The nozzles should be pointing upwards, not towards peoples’ faces.
“Then the air flows all around the interior of the car and reaches every passenger consistently.”