As the drought takes hold, South Africans have started to feel the effects of the scorching southern hemisphere-sun.
Many of us take the air conditioners in our cars for granted, but even more of us don’t use our air conditioners properly. This results in an unnecessary increase in petrol or diesel usage, which in turn has a negative effect both on our pockets and on the environment.
Here are some interesting facts from the folks at Ford about your air conditioning system:
Air conditioning systems are powerful. Most drivers expect their vehicle’s interior to reach a reasonably comfortable temperature within 15 minutes. On a sunny 35-degree day, that interior may be upward of 60 degrees. In order to cool a vehicle down to a comfortable level, most vehicle air conditioning systems have a cooling capacity equal to a small home’s air conditioning.
Today’s air conditioning systems are efficient. Most vehicles use a limited reheat strategy to create the most comfortable environment. Older systems cooled all of the processed air to just above freezing, and then reheated the air to the desired temperature. The newer system cools the air down to just below the desired temperature, then reheat it slightly. This reduces the amount of energy required to operate the system and results in better fuel efficiency.
When you first enter a hot vehicle, lower the windows completely for a few minutes to push out hot air – if it is safe to do so.
Use the max A/C button to quickly cool down the vehicle.
If you get too cold, don’t switch the unit off. Rather adjust the temperature or fan speed to help keep the temperature consistent.
Too cold in the front, but still not cool enough in the back seat? Instead of shutting the A/C vents in the front, redirect them to the ceiling or sides of the vehicle to keep air flowing to the rear.
If it is not too hot, when driving around town turn off the A/C and roll down your windows instead.
Parking in the shade whenever possible or using a reflective windshield shade can dramatically reduce heat build-up in your parked vehicle. Cabin temperature at start-up will be much lower, and temperature comfort will be achieved much sooner on your drive.
If your vehicle is equipped with a moon-roof or large panoramic roof, always close the roof shade to reduce heat build-up in your parked vehicle.
If your vehicle is equipped with a remote start system, be sure to set the climate control system up for automatic operation. This way you start the cool-down process before entering the vehicle.