Is it bad to keep the air-conditioner at maximum all the time?

Because summer
by Joey Bernardez | Mar 2, 2019
PHOTO: Pixabay

A reader wrote in asking: Will running a car's air-conditioner on maximum fan and maximum cool all the time damage it? It’s just like asking if you open a door all the way to its widest opening, will this damage it?


A car’s air-conditioning system was designed to run at maximum fan speed, and the compressor was likewise designed to run all the time if it has to. Using it this way all the time won’t damage it. You’ll wear out the parts faster, yes. But it won’t be damaged it at all.

However, if you find that you need to run your air-conditioner at maximum fan and maximum cool all the time just to keep the interior at a comfortable temperature, there could be something wrong with your air-conditioner.

An air-conditioner running at the lower fan and temperature settings should be enough to keep your cabin comfortably cool. That is if your air-conditioner is in good condition. Have you been up to date in its preventive maintenance? It’s easy to neglect it sometimes.

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Here are some things that can go wrong with your air-conditioner and some simple preventive maintenance items that can be performed on a DIY basis:

Condenser clogging

The condenser is a cooler that is ordinarily mounted at the front of the car in front of the radiator. It takes heat from them refrigerant from the hot line of the AC system and releases it into the atmosphere. However, being at the front of the car its fins can be clogged with dust, leaves, and insects. If these fins are blocked and clogged, then it will have a hard time releasing heat from the refrigerant. You need to have this cleaned out with high pressure water and soap occasionally, for it to function optimally.

Evaporator clogging

The evaporator is usually located in the car’s interior. Like the condenser, it is also a heat exchanger with fins. These fins can be blocked with accumulated dust. This is a bit harder to clean because it’s mounted inside the car behind the dashboard. Cleaning it thoroughly means having it dismounted. This requires professional help. Instead, what the owner can do is to prevent it from getting dirty by making sure that the cabin filter through which it sucks air is occasionally cleaned and/or replaced. Otherwise, the dust that the evaporator sucks in can clog its fins.

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Service caps

The service valve caps are the two caps that go on the hot and cold refrigerant lines of the air-conditioner system. They are usually located in the engine compartment. Make sure that you have both these caps and that they are on the valves. These caps are the primary seals to the refrigerant system and protect the valves from contamination that can be the source of leaks.

Fans

You have evaporator fans and condenser fans. Make sure that these fans are working properly by observing them. If they’re not working properly then the heat exchangers like your evaporator and condenser won’t function properly either.

Summer is fast approaching already the temperatures are getting pretty high during the middle of the day. A properly functioning air-conditioner in your car to get you to and from your functions comfortably is already a necessity.

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PHOTO: Pixabay
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