Why you should have your air conditioning system checked in spring

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In spring, it is advisable to have your air conditioning system checked, advises the ÖAMTC. Naturally, they are not used much in winter—in the case of automatic air conditioning, partly to reduce humidity. But even then, the air conditioning system should not be switched on below minus two or three degrees to prevent the system from freezing and being damaged,’ explains ÖAMTC technician Florian Merker.
He advises: ‘To ensure that the cooling performance is guaranteed even in early summer temperatures and to prevent unpleasant odours from spreading, you should take care of the maintenance of the air conditioning system in spring. This can be combined with a change of the pollen or cabin air filter, which is particularly important for allergy sufferers.’

To check the cooling performance, it is best to have the air conditioning system checked by professionals. This is because refrigerant can evaporate over time – this must be checked. ‘A lack of refrigerant does not cause any damage, but the air conditioning system then tends to work poorly or not at all,’ explains the mobility club expert. When the air conditioning system is serviced, the remaining refrigerant is extracted, and any water that has penetrated is removed. The correct amount of refrigerant for the respective vehicle is then refilled. ‘You can also have the system disinfected at the same time. If you do this regularly, you can prevent the musty odours that occur in poorly maintained systems,’ says ÖAMTC technician Merker. The air conditioning and ventilation systems are cleaned using modern ultrasonic devices.

Replacing the cabin air filter goes hand in hand with checking the air conditioning system. ‘Modern vehicles usually already have a pollen or activated carbon filter. This allows pollen, fine dust particles and other pollutants to be filtered out of the air. However, contaminated filters only allow a small amount of fresh air through, and the filter effect diminishes over time. They should, therefore, be replaced every year,’ explains the ÖAMTC technician. He emphasizes: ‘A functioning fresh air, pollen or activated charcoal filter is not only recommended for allergy sufferers and sensitive people, but it also protects all vehicle occupants from excessive exposure to pollutants.’
Final ÖAMTC technical tip: Switching off the air conditioning five minutes before the end of the journey and leaving the normal fan running helps to prevent musty odours. No new condensation forms in the evaporator after switching off and the existing moisture is dried by the fresh air.

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