Air Conditioning in Winter

Why it’s still advisable to use your air-con in the chilly season

The freezing cold weather is undoubtedly upon us, with temperatures due to plummet in the coming weeks. The idea of having a blast of your air-con in the chilly season might seem counter-intuitive in the minds of most motorists, but many experts maintain that using it during these colder months actually prolongs the life of your vehicle, and can help prevent any issues from occurring when the temperature shifts towards that warmer springtime climate and beyond.

Aside from the more obvious benefits of keeping your windshield and windows clear of frost and free of condensation, your air-con essentially works as a dehumidifier, removing moisture from the air - particularly handy in the winter months. This can also prevent mold and bacteria from collecting and growing in the air vents. Like a number of other components within your car, if it isn’t used for long periods of time, the air-con can potentially seize up. With that in mind, it’s necessary to keep that refrigerant and oil in the system flowing with regular use.

Whatever the weather, it’s always advisable to seek advice if you feel your air-con system isn’t working as well as it should be. This could mean that it might need regassing, but best practice is first to ask to have the pressure tested to see if it unearths any leaks in the system. This could potentially save you from shelling out unnecessarily on a regas, which can set you back from around £45 with the cost rising further on some models. Just as an aside, vehicles with automatic climate control should have this function on at all times. In this case, the vehicle will decide for itself whether to engage the compressor or open the outside flaps and let in the outside air.

With all this in mind please don’t feel, however, that it means you’re required to have the air-con running every time you make a trip anywhere in your vehicle. A decent 10 minute burst every week or so is more than enough time to ensure the coolant circulates through the system. If you have any other queries around your air-con, or indeed any other weather-related worries, why not consult your local RRG centre? You could even submit your motor for our seasonal checks – at participating centres – which ensures that you get the best driving experience from whichever make or model you are currently driving.