Air conditioning during Houston’s summer is a necessity for most of us, and it is one of the most expensive systems to repair. So literally an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.
Tip 1: Act Fast When Your A/C Isn't Cooling
Most importantly don't postpone repairs to your A/C system once you notice the air isn’t cold. Most modern systems have less than two pounds of refrigerant. If your system holds 32 ounces, 10% is 3.2 ounces; that’s not even a half cup. And the manufacturers tell us if the system is 1.6 ounces low, your compressor is being damaged.
Many people may not be aware that there is a refrigerant oil that lubricates the air conditioner’s metal moving parts. When your refrigerant is low so is the refrigerant oil. Running your system on empty is like running the engine without motor oil. So, our recommendation is to have your refrigerant checked every two years or as it seems not to be cooling well in the passenger compartment.
Tip 2: Cooling Off Quickly
Our next tip is about how to cool your car quickly as possible to get the AC system working efficiently. First, roll down your windows on a hot summer day for just a minute. Then use your outside air setting first because at this point the outside air is cooler than your inside air which could be as high as 140 degrees. Finally, after running the outside air for a minute or two, change your AC setting to recirculate so it is cooling your inside cabin air.
Tip 3: Fan Speed Settings
Tip number three, use the third fan setting if your AC has four speeds - in most models the most efficient setting for your AC System. The blower motor, also called a fan motor, only has one speed. Resistors are used to reduce the air speed on the lower settings. So, if you are constantly using a low fan speed, you are shortening the life span of the resistors. The resistors are like brakes, and fan motors while not as costly as AC compressors, are not cheap either.
Tip 4: Cabin Air Filter Changes
Change your cabin air filter every 30,000 miles or so. It is the filter between your evaporator core and passenger cabin and keep the air in the passenger cabin fresh. Over time the filters can clog up and even become moldy if the evaporator core has a leak. Please note that some cars do not have a cabin air filter.
Tip 5: Dealing with Mold
If you have a bad smell in your car, we use a product that can clean the mold out of your AC system’s evaporator core. It’s a great way to freshen the air in the passenger cabin and it is good for your AC system as well. This service runs about $120. If you have a smoker in the car you may want to consider doing this on a regular basis.
With the sweltering temperature of Houston’s summer, we hope that our tips on taking care of your car’s air conditioner are helpful. When you have questions, please call us. We’re here to help you.
Thank you for your trust and loyalty. We appreciate you.
Kathryn & Sybren
We can fix anything. We just happen to fix cars.
Friendly & Expert Service Since ‘46
Adolf Hoepfl Garage
4610 N. Shepherd
Houston, TX 77018
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