If you care enough about your vehicle staying comfortable year round (which most of us do) then there are some simple things you can do to ensure your air system operates at peak efficiency. They are easy enough for anyone to do and won’t take much time (if any) out of your busy schedule.
1. Run it every now-and-then,
ideally once a week while you are driving around. Be sure you press the “A/C” button and don’t just turn the temperature knob down. You can actually run the A/C with hot air if it’s during the winter so you don’t freeze in the car. Run it for at least 10 minutes.
2. Run the defrost during summer.
It is common for mildew (or worse) to form in your air ducts, especially during warmer weather, so run the defrost weekly as well. This isn’t as important during the colder weather as you will likely be using defrost to clear the windows.
3. Clean your air ducts.
If you read this article and then notice a smell coming out of your air vents, well you should have followed step #2. You aren’t completely out of luck though, as you can purchase some vent duct cleaner from your local auto parts store. You may not need it though, just keep running the defrost and it may clear up on its own.
4. Clean your cabin air filter.
You can have this done at a service station, but it’s actually fairly simple to do yourself. In most cases, you can remove the glove box and open a plastic door behind it. Then just pull out the old filter and either clean or replace it! If you clean it though, make sure its dry before reinstalling or you might regret it when mildew begins to grow in your ducts.
5. Recharge your A/C system.
Lost refrigerant inevitably happens over time, and you can save a lot of time and money topping up yourself. Use a product with stop leak which is found in most A/C Avalanche refrigerants to help prevent further leaks. If after using the Stop Leak you still have a problem, then you may need to take it in to a mechanic. If your system can hold a charge for more than 3 weeks, then Black Diamond Triple Seal may be able to fix it for you!