Vehicle air conditioning is a must. It's not just a luxury, it's not just comfortable. In a business fleet, vehicle A/C can define workplace quality and health safety for your drivers.
You can't send a driver into 80+ degree heat without any AC and a weak AC is almost as bad. But what do you do if one (or more) of your vehicles is barely blowing cold air? How can you crank up the cold air in any fleet or personal vehicle to beat the summer heat?
It may sound nearly impossible to power up your vehicle AC unit, but the task is actually easier than you might think. As a fleet manager, you can take these steps with every vehicle in your fleet to make summer both more comfortable and safer for your drivers as the temperatures outdoors continue to rise.
Clean or Change Your Cabin Air Filter
Start with the cabin air filter. This is a simple accordion of filter paper set into a mesh or frame - usually right behind or beside the passenger's glove compartment. Every breath of air that is blown into your car cabin goes through this filter and - over time, it can become both filthy and clogged.
A clogged filter slows the air down, reducing the power of your AC. A filthy air filter can actually add dust to your circulating air instead of removing it. Most vehicle owners don't even know that changing this filter is an option, but it's easy with most vehicle makes and models. Simply take out the glove compartment, remove and replace the filter, and revel in the new power and freshness of your vehicle AC with a clean, non-clogged filter.
Freshen Up Your Freon
If your AC is blowing with sufficient strength but it just doesn't feel cold enough - even at the coldest setting - then there might be a problem with your coolant fluid. Have a vehicle HVAC system expert take a look at your cooling tubes. Measure the temperature and flow to get a sense of how well your vehicle's AC is running. If necessary, your HVAC mechanic can give you a coolant top-up to super-charge the cooling capabilities of your vehicle AC.
Know Your Fast-Cooling A/C Procedure
Next, know how to summon the cold air. It can be tempting to turn it to full-cold, full-blast the moment you sit in a hot car. Instead, make sure your driver team knows how to get the AC started circulating hot air out of the hot car, then slowly crank up the cold as the car powers on. Don't switch to internal circulation until the air inside the car has begun to cool and the oven-like qualities have faded. Once the car has run for a few minutes, it's safe to switch on the AC and crank it to full blast.
Park In the Shade When Possible
Sun and shade can make a huge difference to the temperature inside your car - and your AC's ability to cool it down. If the sun is baking overhead, park in the shade or below an awning whenever possible. This decreases heat damage that can occur with a work vehicle left in direct sunlight for too long. Look for shady trees and inviting places to park when you need to stop for gas, a break, or to see clients.
Use Windshield and Window Shades When Parked
the simple application of a windshield sunshade and perhaps a few pull-blinds over the other windows can help to keep the hottest of the sun's rays from turning your vehicle into a dangerous oven chamber. Sunshades keep the sun from pouring into your vehicle - which can also save your interior upholstery or leather from the fading and thinning that can happen from too much direct sunshine exposure. If you remember to put out the sunshade, your AC will have less heat to fight against when you crank it up to full-cold, full-blast after making it back to the truck.
How can you make the AC in your vehicle colder? Yes! Refresh the air filter and, if necessary, top up the freon. From there, take little steps to reduce the heat inside your vehicle so the AC works just a little faster and more efficiently each time. Contact us today for more clever fleet management tips - from the logistical to the mechanical and everything in between.