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Recent heatwave sees increase in demand for in-car air con

Kwik Fit | Monday 3rd August 2015 9:00am

Air conditioning dashboard controls

The sweltering summer weather last month saw a massive rise in drivers realising their air conditioning is not up to the job as temperatures got up to a sizzling 36.7 degrees in some parts of the country.

In a recent study, we found that, on average, drivers in the UK like to set their in-car air conditioning system to 18.7°C. So on days like the ones we had in July, your air con system is having to work really hard to lower the in-car temperature to the desired temperature. Such a significant drop requires your air conditioning to be performing to maximum efficiency and it is clear from the huge number of drivers that we saw having their air con serviced during July that many cars' systems were struggling to cope.

This may be because the car’s air con system has not been maintained as often as it should. Many drivers assume that air con is included in their car's annual service, but this is not usually the case.

If you want to keep your air conditioning in peak condition follow these simple tips to prolong the life of your air con system and avoid an expensive repair bill:

  • Use it regularly – turn on the air con for at least ten minutes every week of the year. This will help keep the system lubricated and stop the seals from drying out
  • Give it a hand – if possible, on very hot days leave the windows open a little when parked. Reducing the heat build-up in the car in the first place will lower the burden on the air con system when it is turned on
  • Don't neglect your aircon in winter – Your air con is your friend all year round! Even when the cold weather returns your air con system can provide assistance. Using your air con can help to clear fogged windscreens more quickly as it produces dry warm air.
  • Recharge the system regularly – unlike the air conditioning systems found in buildings, around 10% of the gas inside a car's air con system leaks out every year. This is natural and doesn’t mean you have a leak but drivers should have their air conditioning system serviced and recharged regularly so that it continues to work effectively. Most manufacturers recommend doing this every two years.

Four more good reasons to have your air con recharged

Better fuel economy - When your air con unit needs regassing, it struggles to cool the air in the cabin. Try as it might, your air con cannot obtain the temperature your desire. However, greater strain is placed on your engine and more fuel is used as your air con continues to try in vain. Plan B is usually to turn the air con off and resort to rolling down the window. However, this also uses more fuel. When the windows are down, your car is less aerodynamic which can mean an increase in fuel consumption by as much as 10%.

Allergy relief for hayfever sufferers - Your air conditioning system is fitted with filters that catch pollen, dust and dirt so that it does not enter the vehicle when air is drawn in from outside. This is especially beneficial for drivers who suffer from hayfever. However over time these filters can become clogged with insects and other debris. Luckily, Kwik Fit also provides an air con de-bug service that clears bacterial build up in your air con system, cleaning the filters and also removing any unpleasant odours that may have developed.

Stay awake - If you’re doing a long drive in a hot stuffy car, you may find yourself feeling tired. You air conditioning system can help you to keep a cool head which can improve your concentration on the road. But remember, on a long journey you should plan a 15 minute break every 2 hours and never start a long trip if you are already tired.

Recharge or No Charge - At Kwik Fit, if we can’t improve the coolest vent temperature from your car by more than 10% when measured in degrees Celsius – you’ll pay nothing at all or receive a full refund for prepaid bookings. Find out more

So, with more hot weather potentially on the way, isn’t it time you gave your air con system a little TLC? At Kwik Fit, we offer an air conditioning recharge of refrigerant and lubricant for just £49. Book your air con recharge online today.


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