Wed, Jul 18, 2018 12:00 AM
As the sweltering summer continues, we all find ourselves reaching for the air-con dial on our dashboard - but are we maximising the power of our in-car cooling system?
According to Spanish carmaker, SEAT, some drivers are not getting the best from their air-con and as well as wasting energy are not cooling their car down sufficiently. Hotter cars can ultimately lead to driver errors as we become hot and bothered, with an internal temperature of 35C leading to a significant 20 per cent drop in reaction speeds.
“Open the doors and lower the windows for a minute before turning on the air conditioning to naturally lower the temperature in the interior,” said Angel Suarez from SEAT’s Technical Centre.
"If rear passengers say they can’t feel the cool air, then the nozzles could be set incorrectly.
“It isn’t a matter of temperature, but in which direction the air is flowing inside the car. The nozzles should be pointing upwards, not towards peoples’ faces.
"Then the air flows all around the interior of the car and reaches every passenger consistently.”
In some cases, our misunderstanding of how to work the air-con could even be making our cars hotter. So what are SEAT’s top tips for getting the best from your air-con?
1.Turning the AC on full blast straight away: It’s tempting to turn the air-con on to maximum as soon as you get in the car. But if you don't open the windows, you'll just be recirculating hot air. Instead, open the doors and lower the windows for a minute or two before shutting it all up and cranking up the AC.
2. Using the air recirculation option: Keeping it on can make the windows fog and reduce visibility, and also make it more difficult to quickly cool the car down. Most cars will have an "Auto’"option, which can regulate itself to prevent fog while keeping drivers and passengers cool.
3. Pointing the air jets toward you: While you may feel colder, pointing the jets at you stops the car getting an even distribution of air. Angling the jets towards the roof lets the cool air spread around the car more effectively and allows it to reach everyone.
4. Not turning on the air conditioning in the morning: Some summer mornings might seem cool, but the sun can heat up your car quickly. It’s still a good idea to keep the air con on to prevent windows from fogging up when the outside temperature rises.
5. Not performing regular maintenance: Just like the oil, tyres or brake fluid, the air conditioning system needs regular maintenance. Cabin air filters need to be changed every 10,000 to 15,000 miles to make sure they are working properly.
SEAT’s Spanish motors are popular whatever the weather. Why not take a look at our range of SEAT’s today.