Clean the air filter: Probably the most obvious tip but nonetheless the most important and effective one is to check and clean the air filter regularly and replace it if needed. Note that this is the cabin’s air filter not the engine’s one as this directly affects the AC. In most cars, it can be located behind the glove compartment. If you find it to be clogged with dirt and debris, clean it first by shaking off the dry elements. Then wash it with water. Next, dry it and replace it. If it’s damaged, it is always good to get a new one.
Clean the outer body (windshields, windows, grills): Even when your car is airtight, debris has a way of getting into the air conditioning system. Usually, dirt and debris penetrate the air conditioning system through the windshield and grills outside the car. Therefore, it is important to clean the outer body of the car regularly so that dirt, leaves, etc. do not get a chance to get inside the circulation system.
Run your air conditioner on defrost mode: According to the article by The Mufflerman, “You should run your air conditioning weekly for 10 minutes on defrost mode on the coolest setting and at the maximum fan speed. This helps maintain gas pressure, keeps your compressor running well, cleans out moisture, and prevents mildew.” Indeed, having your compressor sustain the difference in the temperature of the inside and outside is one of the most important parts of AC maintenance.
Avoid pre-cooling: It is highly discouraged to run the AC at full-blown speed while it is parked. The blog post by Reliable writes “Did you know that going full force with the AC while the car is idling stresses the cooling system? Avoid placing a strain on your car’s cooling and electrical systems during these end-of-summer months.” So, to sustain a long-serving AC system of your car, start your AC when you start driving.
Regular professional checkup: Although you can be fairly confident about your car’s safety and proper execution of the air conditioning, it is always a good idea to schedule regular professional servicing for your car especially in the summer (usually once a year). Likely everything will come out fine, but a professional mechanic will be rejuvenating the liquids, coolants, and gasses that keep your air conditioning system running well for decades.
With some of these simple tips on maintaining the air conditioning system of your car, you can be confident that your AC is in top-notch shape even in the moistest of summers.