TechAvoiding costly car A/C failures: The 5-minute rule you need to know

Avoiding costly car A/C failures: The 5‑minute rule you need to know

how to properly use air conditioning, photo by Getty Images
how to properly use air conditioning, photo by Getty Images

8:58 AM EDT, June 28, 2024

It's hard to imagine a car trip without air conditioning, especially in the summer. To avoid its failure, it's worth following one simple rule. Check how to use air conditioning properly.

When the temperature outside exceeds 86 degrees Fahrenheit, entering a pleasantly cooled car is a real relief. However, sometimes the air conditioning can fail. To avoid this, it's worth following the so-called 5-minute rule.

How to use car air conditioning smartly?

Most cars, including older models, are equipped with air conditioning. It allows for a comfortable ride regardless of weather conditions. Unfortunately, air conditioning is one of a vehicle's most frequently failing parts. However, you can reduce these failures by following the 5-minute rule. What does it involve?

Five minutes before your planned arrival, turn off the cooling but leave the blower on. This will let the cooling system adjust to the outside temperature, and the fan will "absorb" the already accumulated cold and moisture. Doing so will reduce the humidity in the air conditioning system, preventing the growth of fungi and mold. These microorganisms can cause throat infections and colds. You should use this method every time you drive your car.

Do you remember to disinfect your air conditioning?

As mentioned earlier, reducing the air conditioning system's humidity limits mold and fungi growth. However, this is not a complete solution to the problem. To safely use the air conditioning, disinfect its ducts once a year. You can assign this task to a mechanic or do it yourself.

For this purpose, purchase a disinfectant foam available at car accessory stores and gas stations. The foam kit should include a long tube that you will connect to the foam can and insert into the air conditioning duct.

Self-disinfection has drawbacks, such as difficulty checking how far the product has spread. If you decide to disinfect yourself, do it in the spring, as the cooler temperatures do not favor the growth of fungi and mold.

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