(WACO, Texas) – Texans love their air conditioning. From the house to the automobile, people need to stay cool as the summer sun shines overhead.
According to the AAA Foundation for Traffic Safety’s American Driving Survey 2020-2021 released in October 2022, drivers indicated that they spent an average of 61.3 minutes driving an average of 32.7 miles daily in 2021.
Texas State Technical College’s Automotive Technology program recently offered some tips on how to maintain a vehicle’s air conditioning system.
The program’s instructors recommended having trained air conditioning technicians check vehicle systems once a year.
“Air conditioning systems lose refrigerants over time,” said Jeffrey Desper, an instructor in TSTC’s Automotive Technology program. “They have small leaks that show up.”
Newer vehicles have cabin air filters. If these are restricted, it means that not as much cold air is being released. Cabin air filters should be changed using manufacturers’ guidelines.
Desper said dash covers can keep dashboards cool. People can even use beach towels to reduce radiant heat on air conditioning vents and dashboards. Covering the dashboards will enable the air conditioning not to work as hard.
Desper said removable sun shades can be put in windshields to reduce some of the heat inside vehicles.
“The windshield is the biggest piece of glass in the vehicle,” Desper said.
Tint can also be used in vehicles, but Desper said it needs to be the correct ultraviolet light-reflecting kind. The Texas Department of Public Safety sets standards that residents must follow to have windows tinted.
Desper said to cool a vehicle down quickly, start it up and roll down the windows to let the interior air out. As this is going on, turn the air conditioning on to take in outside air. When the air begins to feel cool blowing through the vents, the windows can be rolled up.
“You have to get the hot air out of the vehicle,” Desper said.
Jacob Dionne, an instructor in TSTC’s Automotive Technology program, said there is no harm in running an air conditioning system at full blast in vehicles.
Some of TSTC’s Automotive Technology students are required to take the Automotive Climate Control Systems class during their second semester, which covers the diagnosis and repair of electric and manual climate control systems and U.S. Environmental Protection Agency guidelines for refrigerant handling.
TSTC’s Automotive Technology program is offered at the Harlingen, Sweetwater and Waco campuses.
Registration continues for the fall semester at TSTC. For more information go to tstc.edu.