Arizona summers can be brutal, and since commutes don’t let up when afternoons run long, you need an ice-cold A/C unit to help you manage this blustery season. Fortunately, there are ways to get this vital system running more efficiently.
Run it When You Need It – Not Before
Tempting as it is to cool down the car before you slide in, don’t do it. The air-conditioner takes power, so using it eats gas and affects other vehicle systems. If you ensure it only flips on when necessary, you’ll save its precious life energy and keep it running longer and better. Also, the car’s A/C operates at optimal levels when there’s more air circulation, so running it while you drive just makes more sense.
Change Filters On-Time
Never neglect your car’s filters. It’s bad form on so many levels. Not to mention, a clogged filter blocks air flow and stifles that sweet, cool breeze. So, get out that owner’s manual and check the recommendations. It will likely ask you to change the cabin air filters every 15,000 to 20,000 miles. If in doubt, change it earlier rather than later.
Keep Things Shady
The fewer degrees your cabin needs to stay cool, the better. If you consistently prioritize shady parking (or create artificial shade with windshield and window coverings), you’ll give the car’s A/C less to do. If you can’t get out of the sun, at least roll down the windows a bit before turning on the unit. This step lets hot air escape, making the cabin easier to cool.
Make Sure It Recirculates
Recycling is always a conscientious approach, so set that air-conditioner to recirculate. Not only will you maximize efficiency, you’ll save on gas, as well. Remember, a blasting air-conditioner unit sucks gas from the engine, so any ways you can reduce the engine load will help.
Check Frequently for Leaks
Most drivers think topping off refrigerant is the main way to keep the A/C going strong. On the contrary, if you find your car needing frequent top-offs, there’s probably a leak somewhere. So instead of laying on the liquid, take the car in for professional A/C care. It never hurts to have this system looked at, and staying ahead of problems will prevent inconvenient and costly repairs in the future.