Using the air conditioner correctly: this is how it gets cool in the car quickly

Air conditioner in the car

On hot days, the air conditioning system in the car is indispensable. Particularly in midsummer, the air conditioning system is often running at full blast and is supposed to cool down the vehicle as quickly as possible. But we all know the problem: it often takes far too long for the temperature in the car to drop and for driving comfort to increase. With the following tips and tricks, you can cool down the interior of your vehicle quickly and efficiently.

The most important steps at a glance:

  1. park the car in the shade and darken the windows
  2. Ventilate the vehicle before starting the journey
  3. Start the engine and leave the windows open
  4. Switch on air conditioner to lowest temperature and turn up blower
  5. After approx. close windows for 3 minutes
  6. leave circulating air on for about 5 minutes
  7. Never direct cooling air directly at the body
  8. Air conditioner max. Set the temperature 5 °C below the outside temperature
  9. Ca. switch off the air conditioning 3 minutes before the end of the journey
  10. Have the air conditioner checked regularly

Greenhouse effect in the car

Finding a parking space in the shade is often difficult in summer. Temperatures rise rapidly, especially when the vehicle is parked in the sun for a long period of time. The so-called greenhouse effect occurs in the car. With closed windows and an outside temperature of 30 °C, a parking time of 60 minutes results in a temperature of almost 60 °C inside the car. In order to reduce this extreme heat as much as possible, the windows should be well covered during a longer parking period and the car should be aired out before the next journey.

Temperature inside the vehicle after minutes

Outside temperature

10 minutes

30 minutes

60 minutes

Recirculated air: only against bad odors

the air conditioning system only uses the air inside the vehicle to cool it down, which is precisely why it is advisable to switch on the recirculation function for the first 5 minutes while driving on hot days. Only the air inside the car is circulated and thus it cools down faster. After the cooling phase, it is essential to switch on the supply air again, otherwise the oxygen content in the air will drop and the windows may mist up. Poor air quality can not only have a negative effect on the odor in the car, but also worsens concentration.

Setting the air conditioning correctly

For shorter distances, it is best not to switch on the air conditioning at all and only try to provide cool air in the car with the help of the windows. If the interior temperature can no longer be lowered via the windows or if you are driving a long distance, then close the windows after the first 5 minutes, activate the circulating air and switch the air conditioning to "auto". If you have manual air conditioning, it’s best to set it to the coldest setting and turn the fan up to full blast for a few minutes. After that, the temperature and intensity of the air conditioning system can be reduced or switched off. Adjust the temperature so that it does not get too cold in the long term.

Avoid headaches and cold

In order not to damage your health, the air nozzles should never be pointed directly at your body. If the air jet is poorly adjusted and draws on the body, headaches, colds or conjunctivitis can quickly develop. If possible, point the air vents in the direction of the side windows and windshield. The defroster nozzles on the windshield provide optimum continuous cooling on long journeys. To avoid cold or circulation problems, the temperature inside the car should not be more than 5 degrees below the outside temperature. To subject the body to less strain when getting out of the car, switch the air conditioning ca. switch off 3 minutes before the end of the journey. This also prevents the growth of bacteria and fungi in the system.

Keeping the air conditioner in good condition

If you switch off the air conditioning shortly before the end of the journey, the evaporator inside the ventilation box can dry out well and no unpleasant odors arise in the car. If you find a puddle of water under the car, it is usually condensation water. This drips from the evaporator and is just as harmless as a mist that flows from the air vents a short time after the air conditioner is switched on. This is normally only humid air and is also produced by the evaporator.

every 2 years you should still have your air conditioner serviced by a specialist company. During the air conditioning check, the system is checked for leaks, refrigerant is added if necessary, the compressor is checked and the evaporator is cleaned. If the air conditioning system is not serviced regularly, the ventilation system can no longer provide its 100 percent performance. Often, for example, the pollen filter closes or there are leaks in the lines of the system. There are often unnecessary costs that could have been prevented.

Reduced performance and
increased fuel consumption

By cooling the interior of the vehicle, the driver’s concentration can be increased and long car journeys become more bearable for all passengers. however, to avoid lower engine performance and increased fuel consumption, they should switch off the air conditioning system. When the air conditioner is running, fuel consumption can be as high as one liter per 100 kilometers. If your car has an ECO switch, it can be activated. This increases engine performance and reduces fuel consumption.

Use the air conditioner regularly

To enjoy the benefits of air conditioning for as long as possible, it should be used regularly. 10 minutes a week is enough to prevent the seals of the system from drying out and to keep the refrigerant in the circuit. A useful tip for cold and rainy days – use the air conditioner to dehumidify the passenger compartment. The air conditioner helps to prevent the windows from fogging up and gives you a clear view again with the help of the fan and the heater.

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Christina Cherry
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