Three Ways You Can Maintain Your Car's Air Conditioner

If you've ever taken your vehicle's air conditioner for granted, there's a good chance that you've never driven in a car without A/C. It's a highly unpleasant feeling to be driving in a car that offers no relief from the heat other than rolling the windows down, so it's important to avoid this situation by making a point of maintaining your air conditioner properly. Doing so can prevent you from having to deal with an untimely A/C issue that could be a real hassle during a heatwave. Here are three useful ways to keep your air conditioner working properly for as long as possible.

Schedule Regular A/C Service Appointments

Arguably the most important maintenance step you can perform for your vehicle's air conditioner involves the help of a professional. Scheduling an A/C service appointment allows the technician to check the overall state of the system. He or she will top up your fluids, check hoses for leaks, ensure that hose attachments are still strong and check the condition of your cabin air filter to determine if it needs to be replaced. Generally, the guideline for having auto AC maintenance done is once every 18 months to 24 months. However, you might consider having the work done more frequently if you live in a hot climate in which you run the air conditioner all year.

Cool Down The Interior Temperature By Opening The Windows

It's putting a significant strain on your vehicle's air conditioner to get into a hot car and blast the A/C on its highest setting. Given the work that the unit has to do, it's going through significant wear and tear that is largely preventable. It's a better strategy to lower your windows once you get into the car and begin driving. In a few moments, the interior temperature will have dropped because of the breeze through the windows; at this time, you can turn on the A/C and it won't have to run as hard.

Use The A/C Every Week

If you live in a cold climate, you likely go the entire winter without using the air conditioner. In this inactive state, the hoses can dry up and other components can get sluggish. It's a good practice to turn on the air conditioner and allow it to run every week, even during the winter. One approach is to let the car get warm with the heater so that you're comfortable, and then switch over to the A/C.