How To Maintain Your Vehicle's Air Conditioner

Your car's air conditioning system is just a small system within your vehicle, but it is nonetheless an important one, as it can be the only thing that keeps the interior of your vehicle comfortable during the summer months. Just like every other part of your vehicle, your air conditioner needs to be maintained in order to continue to function properly. Understanding what a few of the most common and important air conditioning maintenance tasks are can help you keep your vehicle's AC running smoothly and effectively for as long as possible.

Regular Operation

One of the biggest problems that can affect your air conditioner is mold growth within the vents and fan. This can happen when condensation is able to build up in the system, which can happen when you do not turn the air conditioner on for an extended period of time. To prevent this from happening, make sure that you run the air conditioner for a few minutes every so often, even if the weather outside is cold, just to ventilate the vents and system.

Clean the Air Filter

The air conditioner's air filter is located under the hood, usually right in front of the passenger seat's glove box. This should be changed annually, if not more often depending on how much use your air conditioner sees, to ensure that the proper amount of air is passing through the system and your fan and other components are not being overly taxed. Not to mention the fact that a clogged air filter will also drastically reduce the air quality within your vehicle, which can aggravate allergies and other respiratory conditions while you are driving – which can be quite unsafe. You can find replacement air filters at most automotive supply stores: simply bring your older filter in to determine the right size for a replacement.

Refrigerant Refills

Finally, the last essential part of maintaining your car's air conditioning system is making sure that the refrigerant is topped up. This is the only major maintenance task that you cannot complete yourself since it requires a professional to refill the gases that are used to chill the air in your system. As a general rule of thumb, it's a good idea to have a professional refill your system every two to three years, but you should also head to a mechanic straight away as soon as you notice that your air conditioner is blowing warm or hot air instead of properly chilled air.

For more information, contact your local auto repair shop today.