Should You Run Your Car AC In Winter?

The cold months can make you overzealous and too cautious about running any of your car systems. Many car owners might be worried about running the air conditioner during winter. For that fact, we've asked experts whether you can use the car AC during winter, and they gave us answers.

Experts recommend running your car's air conditioner in the winter as a preventive measure. Running the AC helps the refrigerant and oils to circulate and not congeal in the system. 

However, there are limitations as to when you can run the car's AC. Read on as we elaborate on why it's necessary to do these test runs.

Heavy traffic caused by snow storm, Should You Run Your Car AC In Winter?

Running The Car AC In The Winter

It might not seem logical to run the car air conditioner in the cold months. But, it would help if you could run the vehicle's air conditioner periodically as a preventive measure.

Heavy snow accumulating on the cars roof and hood due to snow storm

Lubrication of the seals in a car's AC system is vital. It helps keep all seals from becoming dry and brittle. Run the AC on maximum while the vehicle is moving for at least ten minutes.

Check out this Refrigerant Oil on Amazon.

However, run the AC when the car is in the garage when the temperatures are too cold. The vehicle's air conditioning system is expensive, and it needs proper maintenance to ensure long-lasting function.

Does The Car AC Work Well When It's Cold Outside?

The cars' air conditioners are not meant to run when temperatures are below 60 degrees Fahrenheit. The fact is that when you run the car air conditioner in the cold, it won't function properly due to thickened refrigerant. Alternatively, the oil will freeze and won't allow the air conditioner to work! 

Driver turning the car AC on

Can You Run The AC & Heater Simultaneously?

Experts advise using the AC as well as the heater in the car. The air conditioner helps remove any moisture in the vehicle. Any moisture in the car will damage the upholstery and could result in rust slowly eating at the metal framing.

Manufacturers design the air conditioner and the heater to work in unison. The dry, warm air helps to remove any moisture in the car. Watch the video below for a detailed explanation of how the two work.

Can Hot Air Come Out Of The AC?

The AC is meant to blow cool air into the cabin. But, if there is a blast of warm air, you have a problem. The condenser keeps the refrigerant cool. The warm air from the car's air conditioner can be due to:

  • Leaking refrigerant
  • Issues with the vehicle's electrical system
  • A broken compressor
  • A problematic condenser

Is Using The Car AC Efficient?

The air conditioner doesn't use a lot of fuel on the highway. However, turn it off if you are stuck in traffic for hours on end. The fuel consumption of the AC might not make any difference if you own a fuel-efficient vehicle.

Turning the car AC on

Is Climate Control Different From Air Conditioning?

Yes, it is! Air conditioners are manually regulated in your vehicle. You'll physically set the temperature and fan speed in your car whenever you want to use it.

On the other hand, climate control is computerized. Sensors in your car will regulate the temperature of the air blowing in the cabin. You will find climate control systems in more luxurious cars. However, manufacturers are installing them in less expensive vehicles.

Should You Maintain A Car Air Conditioner?

Yes, you should! Running the air conditioner does mean you are maintaining it. You need to take a few extra measures to ensure that your system runs smoothly at all times. To avoid frying in your car due to a broken down AC, ensure that you:

  • Never crank your air conditioner to the maximum. Always set it to the lowest temperature and adjust it to the most convenient temperature.
  • Don't use the recirculate mode if you have back seat passengers.
  • Keep your vehicle clean by vacuuming regularly.
  • Clean or change the air filter regularly.

Have a look at this Washable Air Filter on Amazon.

How Often Should You Change The Air Filter?

There are several filters in a car, and they all need changing or replacing from time to time. The cabin air filter needs to be changed once a year. 

The other filters, such as the engine air filter, prevent dirt and dust from getting into the engine. You can replace the engine air filter yearly or every 15,000 to 30,000 miles.

Ensure that you change the fuel and oil filters according to the car's manual.

Can You Get Sick Using A Car AC?

Health is wealth, and it cannot be traded for anything. Air conditioners in cars may pose some potential harm. Mold and mildew in the car's air conditioner can harm you. Harmful emissions might be circulated by the AC too!

The recirculated air in the cabin might cause drowsiness. Allow fresh air to circulate by periodically opening windows, especially while driving long distances.

Can You Change An Air Filter In Winter?

Mechanic changing the AC filter with a new one

Absolutely! You should change the air filter even in winter if necessary. It is ideal to change or replace the air filter during the winter when not in active use. A clean air filter will also make the heating system work more efficiently.

How Much Does It Cost To Service A Car AC?

The cost will depend on the issues you have with the air conditioner. Severe issues will make you dig deeper into your pocket to rectify them. 

The services will cost from $100 to $900. The cost will hike when you need to purchase parts. To avoid serious problems with your car's air conditioner, you should regularly clean it.

Check out this Car AC Gauge on Amazon.

Where Is The Cabin Air Filter Located?

Cabin air filters have different locations in different car models. Some cabin air filters are located behind the glove compartment. Others can be found under the dashboard or near the windshield in the engine compartment. In other models, the cabin air filter is located in the ductwork.

How To Change A Cabin Air Filter

A car owner can change a cabin air filter without involving the services of a professional. Changing a cabin air filter is relatively easy. Here are comprehensive steps to follow.

  1. Start by locating the cabin air filter and accessing it.
  2. Then, remove and replace the air filter.
  3. Reinstall any components, and that's it.

Car AC button

Can You Upgrade Your Car AC To Climate Control System?

It's possible but not worth the cost. Moreso, the expertise that will go into it won't be worthwhile. A professional will need to change the whole manual setup to an automatic one.

Ideally, order a custom-made car with all the bells and whistles you need and trade in your old vehicle. 

Are Automatic ACs Better Than Manual Ones?

Woman turning on the ac inside the car

Generally, manual air conditioners are practical and simple to use. When the word automatic is added to anything, it connotes comfort.

Therefore, automatic climate control systems add much-needed comfort to your trips. Automatic control systems are better than manual air conditioners. However, they have their pros and cons.

Does A Car's Climate Control System Save Fuel?

Experts advise using the automatic control system to save fuel. The system uses less fuel because it regulates the temperature accordingly. 

What Is The Ideal Setting For A Car's AC?

To get the chill faster from your car's air conditioner, you should set it at the lowest temperature possible. The low setting will always prolong the lifespan of your car's AC.

It also applies to automatic climate control systems. Remember to use the car's manual.

In Conclusion

Heavy traffic caused by snow storm

Ensure that you run your car's air conditioner as a preventive measure during the cold months. If temperatures drop below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, leave the AC alone.

Automatic control systems are a preferable option. Regular maintenance will go a long way. 

Get some more tips from the following posts: 

How To Reset A Mitsubishi Air Conditioner [In 4 Easy Steps!]

Can A Generator Run A Hot Water Heater?

Share this article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *