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It almost goes without saying that your vehicle’s air conditioning is important—if for no other reason than your comfort, and the comfort of your passengers, on hot days. But it’s not just about keeping cool. The air conditioning unit in your vehicle can also create dehumidified air—which in turn demystifies your steamed-up windows during the winter months. Finally, a properly functioning air conditioning system filters out pollutants that might otherwise invade your vehicle’s cabin space.
An AC recharge is only needed, strictly speaking, when you notice that your air isn’t as cool as it used to be. With that said, routine inspections to your auto air conditioning can keep your unit from developing bigger problems, so it’s not a bad idea to ask for auto AC service when you go to get your oil changed and your tires rotated.
Most of us assume we know how the auto air conditioning system works. You press the button and your car’s air vents produce cool, refreshing air—right? Well, actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that. The quick synopsis: Your air conditioning unit produces air that’s actually quite hot, but through a multi-step system it’s both cooled down and also cleared of moisture and contaminants. This is a process that begins with your vehicle’s refrigerant and ends with cool air coming through the vents—providing you with a comfortable ride no matter the weather.
If nothing else, you need a routine auto AC service call to make sure you have sufficient refrigerant; remember that this is a necessary ingredient in keeping your vehicle cool, and that you use somewhere around 15 percent of it every year. More generally, an auto AC check is needed because you use that system every day, and it takes a lot of wear and tear. Naturally, the AC isn’t going to last forever—so give it the attention it needs.
A lot of drivers have the auto air conditioning system all wrong. They assume it’s pretty straightforward, creating and then disseminating cool air. Actually, it’s quite a bit more complicated than that. In a multi-step process that begins at the compressor and ends at your air vents, the auto air conditioning actually creates warm air, then strips out all the moisture and contaminants—cooling and depressurizing it all the while. Obviously, this requires a lot of work, so it stands to reason that the auto air conditioning system might need to be inspected and repaired from time to time.
How well do you understand the workings of your auto air conditioning system? Many drivers are surprised when they learn that their auto AC doesn’t simply push out cool air, but rather it starts with warm air, cools and depressurizes it, filters out its contaminants, and then—at the end of a multi-stage process—it finally pushes that cool air into the cabin of the vehicle. If that sounds like a laborious undertaking, well, it is. The auto air conditioning takes on a lot of wear and tear. It goes without saying, then, that regular maintenance is a must.
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