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Be sensible with air-con and avoid mistakes in the heatBack

A recent report by SEAT has cited air-con mistakes could lower driver reaction times during the current UK heat wave.

With outside temperatures currently soaring above 30°C in the UK, hurried commuters and holiday-makers in particular could be at risk of dehydration. Automotive manufacturer SEAT, are therefore encouraging drivers to be patient and remain focused at the wheel as rising temperatures could impact driver reaction times.

Some of the most common air-con mistakes include immediately turning the system onto full blast which could reduce its effectiveness, resulting in higher interior temperatures and possible dehydration.

SEAT reports that a difference of just 10°C – 35°C compared to 25°C inside the cabin can diminish driver’s reaction times by 20 per cent. This is the equivalent to a blood alcohol reading of 0.05 per cent, matching the Scottish limit and close to the maximum of 0.08 per cent for the rest of the UK.

Cars parked in the sun can reach as high as 60°C. To help reduce cabin temperatures before setting off and while on the move, below are some common air conditioning mistakes that drivers must try to avoid in the heat wave.

  1. Turning on the air conditioning full blast as soon as you get in the can

When entering a hot car, many of us will turn the air-con on to maximum. However, turning on the air conditioning straight away without opening the windows will just recirculate the hot air. Instead, open the doors, lower the windows for a minute or two before shutting the doors and then turning up the air con.

  1. Keeping the air recirculation option activated

Keeping the air recirculation button on can make the windows fog and reduce visibility. Most cars will have an ‘Auto’ option, which can regulate itself to prevent fog while keeping drivers and passengers cool.

  1. Not turning on the air conditioning in the morning

Some summer mornings can be cool, but it’s still a good idea to keep the A/C on to prevent windows from fogging up when the outside temperature rises.

  1. Pointing the air jets toward you

Avoid pointing the air jets towards you – it’s counter-productive and stops the car getting an even distribution of airflow. Pointing the jets upward lets the cool air spread around the car more effectively and allows it to reach all occupants.

  1. Avoiding regular maintenance

Just like the oil, tyres or brake fluid, the air conditioning system requires maintenance. Failing to change clogged cabin air filters every 10,000 to 15,000 miles can stop your A/C working effectively.

Posted by Leana Kell on 11/07/2018