How to make your A/C colder

2 min to readFleet management
When it feels like a sauna outside, the last thing you want is even more hot air blasting you in the face when you get in the car. If your car A/C isn't cutting it this summer, learn how to make the air conditioner colder in your vehicle – and save that super sweaty feeling for a good gym session!
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Replace the cabin air filter

The cabin air filter prevents dust, pollen, dirt and other pollutants from entering your car through the A/C and heat vents. If the filter is clogged or dirty, it can also inhibit or even block A/C airflow, meaning the cold air you're craving will struggle to reach the cabin.

Depending on your vehicle, you may be able to check and replace the filter yourself. Consult your owner's manual for more information.

Park in the shade whenever possible

Give your A/C a head start by preventing heat from building up in your car. Cars parked in direct sunlight can reach internal temperatures up to 131-172°F when outside temperatures are 80-100°F. Keep safety and security in mind and don't leave your windows cracked or half open. Park in a shaded area instead.

If parking in the shade is not an option, create some! Put up a windshield sun shade to prevent direct sunlight from turning your car into an oven. Sunshades can also help protect your car's interior from damaging UV rays that cause dashboard discoloration and cracking.

Supercharge your A/C system

Need some seriously chill vibes in your car? Reggae will only get you so far.

Here's how to make car A/C colder – and fast: reboot your refrigerant. We won't get into exactly how car air conditioning works, but suffice it to say that low Freon or refrigerant levels will almost always lead to car A/C that doesn't feel cold enough. You can check your refrigerant level at home if you have access to an A/C gauge and thermometer, two tools that are available at most auto parts stores.

Don't switch to max A/C right away

It can be tempting to turn on the A/C and crank it to "max cool" right when you get in the car. But did you know? Blasting the A/C right out of the gate isn't the best way to make it chilly! When your A/C is set to "max," the car is actually taking air from inside the car, cooling it, and blowing it back into the cabin.

Here's the problem with that: when you first get in the car, the air inside is hotter than the air outside. (Remember how the temperature inside your car can climb to almost 200°F?!) You're forcing your A/C to work harder, and for no reason. Start by pulling air from outside the vehicle to make things feel cooler, quicker. Leave the A/C button off at first. Turn the fan to its maximum speed and make sure the airflow is set to "outside" mode.

Then, once you've forced out some of the humid, hot air that's accumulated in the car, turn on the A/C and switch to "recirculate" airflow mode. Now you can set the A/C to "max cool."

Published at March 31, 2020
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