Time to check your air con
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With the sometimes faint hint of early spring in the air, it is time for motorists to think about the efficiency of the air conditioning in their vehicle.
When summer eventually approaches later in the year, the air conditioning system takes on a vital role in helping to ensure comfortable motoring.This is especially so the further north in the country you live.
The pollen count has been rising for some time, and so it is essential for everyone’s comfort the air conditioning system filters in your vehicle are operating effectively.
Many vehicle manufacturers incorporate air conditioning system checks in their regular servicing regimes, including the regular replacement of pollen filters. This is especially so in areas where vehicles are operating in particularly dusty, often rural, surroundings.
Where most of the driving is on tarseal and in urban surroundings, there may be less need to replace pollen filters as frequently.
Pollen or in-cabin filters have become standard features of air conditioning systems, and need to be replaced at regular intervals. Like the air filter on an engine's induction system, they are designed to trap airborne contaminants.
Drivers and passengers do not want to expose their respiratory systems to contaminated air supply, and regular replacement of filters helps ensure the air in the vehicle cabin remains clean.
Remember, most of us spend a lot of time in our vehicles, especially when driving during peak hours anywhere near Auckland or around other cities.
We are spending more time in stop-start traffic, so if passengers or drivers suffer from allergic reactions, frequent headaches, hypersensitivies, sinus congestion or respiratory issues, it would pay to get the vehicle’s air conditioning system checked.
Vehicle owners must take some of the responsibility for maintaining clean air in the cabin, simply by keeping the interior of the vehicle clean and tidy, and ensuring dust and grime is dealt to inside the cabin.
That means regular vacuuming and dusting, and generally keeping the cabin in a clean condition.
When buying a second-hand vehicle it pays to get the filter checked – it will give an indication of the state of the air conditioning system, and any possible future servicing costs.
If the vehicle is relatively new, then the franchise dealer is likely to replace the filter at every service.
This may not have occurred on older vehicles, and so it would pay to have the filter checked when the vehicle is serviced.
There are no hard and fast rules about this, because the state of the filter will depend a lot on the environment the vehicle is being exposed to, the age of the vehicle and the filter, and the distance travelled.
While modern air conditioning systems are reliable and require less servicing than earlier units, a system check and gas top-up every two or three years should ensure the system remains in good order.
If there are bad odours coming from air circulating in the system, or there is mould, mildew and bacteria in the system, get it serviced as soon as possible.
Don’t dice with the quality of the air those in the car breathe.