With the summer now in full swing and many western states experiencing higher than usual temperatures, more and more people will be relying on their vehicle’s climate control system to keep them cool while out on the road. To help these motorists out, the experts over at Consumer Reports have put together a helpful list of ways to maximize a vehicle’s climate control system to keep occupants cool and to maximize vehicle efficiency when running the A/C.
According to CR, it’s important to always set the air conditioning temperature to its lowest possible level. This is because setting the system to the lowest temp will make the A/C more efficient, will dry out the air less and will actually save fuel. This is because setting the A/C to a middle-of-ground temperature forces the system to reheat the air it has already cooled, which uses more fuel in the long run.
Another important tip is to turn off your vehicle’s automatic start-stop system. While this feature is mainly designed for saving fuel, it will prevent the A/C compressor from running when the engine shuts off at stop signs, stoplights or when stuck in traffic.
Similarly, CR suggests turning off the recirculation mode for the A/C system when the rear seats are occupied, which pulls the air from the front of the cabin and pumps it back through the A/C system. Turning recirculation on can leave back-seat passengers feeling hot and humid, so this is a tip that’s particularly important for those with families or those who drive for ride-sharing companies.
Finally, CR suggests vehicle owners inspect and, if needed, replace their vehicle’s cabin air filter. A dirty cabin air filter can prevent optimal airflow and can also give A/C air a musty smell.
With these tips in mind, American motorists should be able to keep cool on even the hottest and most humid days this summer.