Beat the Heat with Air Conditioner Maintenance

Summer creeps ever closer—it’s still about a month away, officially speaking. Schools are letting out and the weather has taken a turn for the better. Finally. Temperatures have even inched into the 80s lately. Make sure your car’s air conditioner is ready to beat the summer heat.

No one likes to sit in traffic or commute to work in a stuffy car. It’s miserable. Addressing the problem can often be difficult for the average, non-car buff kind of person. Freon, a thing we’ve all heard of, is a compressed liquid and gas combination that circulates through the A/C system. But that’s not all that makes the air conditioning work. There are several other components that make up the system:

  • refrigerantcar-ac-vent
  • expansion valve
  • condenser
  • compressor
  • evaporator
  • receiver-drier

Any of these components could be loose, broken, clogged, or leaking. Should you simply need more Freon, you can easily fill that yourself. However, Freon isn’t always to blame for the problem.

When the Heat Hits

Most drivers notice their A/C not working while in idle traffic. Driving across town to pick up milk can be miserable in the middle of summer with no air flowing. This can be caused by overheating of the engine, low Freon, or a lack of decent air flow over the condenser. Typically, driving on the highway is much less of a problem because winds are strong and the engine is performing more rapidly, causing the coolant to circulate quicker as well.

One way to help keep cooling problems at bay is by running your air conditioning system on a regular basis. Even in winter, 10 minutes a month is recommended. The owner’s manual will have more details about how your particular heating and cooling system works. Be sure to take a look there before assuming the worst.

If the cooling, or lack of cooling depending on how you look at it, issue persists…it’s time for real help. Some repairs will take the use of special equipment, so check with your local auto repair shop for more information.

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