With the very, very hot temperatures the country has been experiencing lately, especially the Midwest, I thought I would write a bit about how these temperature can affect your car’s air conditioning system. Basically, the hotter it is, the less effective the air conditioning becomes. This can be a real annoyance, since we all like to be cool in the summer.
This past week especially, here at my shop it has been 100 degrees plus every single day. Not to mention the heat index, which makes it feel like 105-110 degrees! Those temperatures, along with extreme humidity, are an air conditioning system’s worst nightmare. The struggle that the compressor, condenser, and evaporator have to go through to make a cool breeze coming out of your vents is quite extreme. High humidity in the air just adds to the normal condensation that the system produces. Take a look underneath your car or truck one of these hot days after the A/C has been blowing a while. You’ll probably notice a huge puddle of water under there.
This is absolutely normal, and is no cause for concern. But with high humidity and temps, you will probably see the amount of water double under your vehicle. If you’ve got a healthy operating air conditioning sysstem, you can even get condensation around your vents as it runs. It may fog up the windows, and even produce some drips on the floor from the condensation build up on the heater case. This is one time of year that you want to make sure that the evaporator drain is not clogged. With this much condensation, if your drain is the slightest bit clogged up, you’ll find a small lake on the passenger side floor of your vehicle. This is NOT fun to clean up, and we all know what water damage can do to wiring and other electrical components. And the smell! Yuck!
Everyone seems to wait until the hottest day of the year to try and get their air conditioning system fixed on their car. When you really need it, you don’t want to have it not working for you. Regular system checks are a good idea, and most shops have specials on what is called an ‘Air Conditioning Service’. This service will usually put one pound of refrigerant in the system, add dye if needed and check for leaks and proper operation of all the components of the system. This is money well spent if you want to be cool in the summer months. Most times, technicians can spot trouble before it becomes really expensive, so consider having this done at least once a year.
So, I hope you’re all enjoying these HOT summer days! I’m sure there are more to come. Are you staying cool in your car?
I know I am!!
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