ACtion Magazine - June 2013 - (Page 28)

Photo: MACS by Glenn Farrell M any of my customers are up in age and reluctant to come out and ask how to use their A/C or heating system. Sometimes looking at how they have the controls set, I know they’re not getting everything out of the system that it’s designed to do. For instance, down here in Louisiana in the peak of summer, your A/C system needs all the help it can get. Pulling in outside air at high noon won’t cut it, and trying to cool a car that’s been closed up with an interior temperature over 130 degrees isn’t easy. When entering a car that’s been sitting in the sun for any length of time, I recommend first opening all the doors if possible, or at least putting all the windows down. Then, set the controls to the lowest blower speed. Once cold air is felt at the vents, any blower speed can be used. This will not only make the interior more comfortable faster, but it will also extend the life of the compressor and even save gas. Remember, high pressure is one of a compressor’s biggest enemies. Plus, it takes more horsepower to spin a compressor making a high-side pressure of 350 psi then 200 psi. On a hot vehicle just after startup, I’ve seen high-side pressures of over 500 psi when the blower is immediately put on high speed; same vehicle, same hot condition but with the lowest blower speed, high side pressure never reaches 250 psi. In the first case, the system is “overwhelmed” and it can take a while to reach its maximum efficiency. On the other hand, at lower blower speeds the heat load across the evaporator is much less, allowing the compressor to reach its maximum efficiency a lot faster. 28 ACTION • June 2013 I also tell customers to run the heat at least once a month in the summer, and to run the A/C at least once a month in the winter. I believe this keeps the heater core and heater hoses from clogging up in summer, and lubricates the A/C components in winter. Of course in most cars, using defrost at a warm temperature setting will do both; run the compressor and allow coolant to flow through the heater core. More then once, I’ve repaired an A/C system for one of my older customers, only to get a call the next day that they can’t use the A/C because it’s too cold. One customer I’ll never forget had a Dodge minivan. I replaced the control head. About an hour later, I got a call from the elderly gentleman asking what I did to his van. He stated it wouldn’t move, he couldn’t turn the steering wheel and the A/C was blowing hot air. After thinking a few seconds I asked, “Is the engine running.” He said “I’ll call you back.” ❆

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of ACtion Magazine - June 2013

ACtion Magazine - June 2013
Freeze Frame
Virtual View
Under the Southern Cross
Leonard's Law
News & Updates
Air Flow Out of Control
Customer Education
Association News
Quick Check
New Products & Services
Last Watch

ACtion Magazine - June 2013