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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.
Contrary to popular belief, your auto air conditioning doesn’t simply create cool air. Actually, the process is quite a bit more complicated and multifaceted than that. It begins when the compressor condenses your vehicle’s refrigerant—raising its temperature and sending it to the condenser, where it begins to lose heat. Passing through a dryer, the air is stripped of pollutants and airborne contaminants. In the accumulator, it’s cooled further still, and also depressurized. It eventually makes its way to the ventilation system, where it’s cooled down completely, and is released into your cabin as nice, refreshing air.
Your auto air conditioning system takes a lot of wear, day in and day out, so it’s only a matter of time before individual components can fall into disrepair. Routine air conditioning service helps you prevent this. Additionally, a regular AC recharge ensures that you don’t run out of refrigerant—which is vital for the regular functioning of your auto air conditioning.
The good news is that most vehicle owners don’t have very frequent auto air conditioning problems—and you can minimize the risk further still by investing in a routine AC check. Having an AC recharge every year or so is likely enough.
There are a couple of reasons why you might eventually need to have some air conditioning repair work done. One, speaking generally, is that your air conditioning system does a lot of hard work, and eventually that heavy lifting will lead to wear and tear. Any one component of the system can break and throw the whole thing off; an AC check will help you identify and correct problems before that happens. Additionally, you’ll eventually run low on refrigerant, which is a critical ingredient in keeping your cabin cool. That’s when an AC recharge is needed.
Certainly, you should be getting an AC check as part of your regular vehicle maintenance. This helps you to stay on top of any potential issues, and address small problems before they become big ones. Getting an AC check once or twice a year, perhaps when you get your oil changed or tires rotated, can be a great way to invest in the lifespan of your car.
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