One of the first things most people do after getting into their cars and turning them on is switching on the air conditioner. But if you’ve noticed that your car’s HVAC (Heating, Ventilation and Air Conditioning) gives out a whiff of bad odour, makes a distinct whirring sound or isn’t cooling as efficiently as before, there’s most certainly a problem with it. With its many vents and valves, a car HVAC is prone to a build-up of bacteria and fungi. And the monsoons might make things worse.
Of course, some areas like the evaporator coil mesh can be notoriously hard to reach. However, cleaning the parts you can reach is important for several reasons, especially with the prevalent pandemic.
Why it is essential to clean your car HVAC system
Two main reasons underscore the importance of a regular cleaning routine. First, it can cut down your maintenance/ repair bill significantly. And second, it can make your drives more comfortable. The truth is that even the best HVAC systems lose their edge without regular maintenance. The result: a bunch of issues from increased power consumption to water leakage.
What are some of the best ways to clean your car HVAC system?
Before you get started, check the user manual for any special instructions from the manufacturer on how the HVAC system should be cleaned. This can also help you locate all the vents and identify the right cleaning product to use for cleaning certain parts, like the ducts. With that said, let’s take a look at some of the tried and tested ways of cleaning a car HVAC system.
Clean the condenser:
The condenser is usually well protected by grilles on the front of your car. Still, it can be a veritable magnet for dust and fine particles, obstructing airflow and leading to the build-up of heat inside the cabin. An overheated engine could impact the performance of the condenser. An easy way to clean this is by pressure spraying it with water, as this can expel any accumulated deposits around the tubes and boost performance significantly. This method is easier than scrubbing it down.
Check the compressor:
The compressor also needs regular lubrication to perform at its best. Make sure to closely check the gas pipelines leading to it from the engine. Any whirring sound originating from this part could indicate a possible leakage of liquid refrigerant or damage to the drive belt. If so, it is best to book a service from an authorised MG service centre.
Replace the HVAC filters:
It is also important to pay the filters a little attention. These are usually the last line of defence when it comes to circulating cool and clean air in your car. Filters are meant to keep any microscopic contaminants from getting into the cabin via the HVAC ducts located under the dashboard. Unfortunately, it is not unusual for them to get clogged every few months. If the airflow from the vents is noticeably weaker, you can remove the filter and soak it in a mixture of warm water and liquid detergent. Avoid scrubbing it; instead, use a hose to spray it clean after about ten to fifteen minutes.
Don’t forget the air vents:
The air intakes along the lower end of the windshield on the outside of your car also need attention. After all, they collect everything from dried leaves to soot that eventually settle on the inner surfaces of the HVAC duct. Brush the air vents to clear any sediments and spray a foam-based cleaner into the vents. This will remove fungi and other allergens that are in them.
When it comes to the vents on the dashboard, first turn off the ignition, close all the doors, and spray the vent. Run both the AC and blower at maximum power for about ten minutes before turning them off and opening all the doors.
This will ventilate the vehicle and allow any droplets to dry out. Make sure to use cleaning products specifically made for the purpose of cleaning car parts. A vacuum cleaner can also be useful for thoroughly clean the vents. Don’t forget to clean the carpet and floor mats too while you are at it. This is particularly important to avoid moisture damage during the monsoons.
Cleaning your car’s HVAC should not be taken lightly and should certainly be done only if you are sure of your capabilities. If you are not, however, it is advisable to leave it to the experts. Fortunately, MG Motor is offering a new service – #MGCareAtHome, which is aimed to make car servicing easier for you. Whether your car needs a check-up, sanitisation or a dry wash, you can engage professional technicians to maintain and repair your MG. This doorstep service ensures your car remains in good condition, all while you stay safe and healthy at home.