Last year was the hottest summer on record, and heat and humidity are again bearing down across the United States. Heat waves on both coasts are contributing to shattered weather records already this year, with 31 cities and towns across the country posting the hottest June temperature ever recorded. Raleigh, North Carolina, recorded highs of more than 95 degrees Fahrenheit for 12 straight days; Kingman, Arizona, tied the record number of 100-degree-plus days, with 15; and Barrow, Alaska, had the warmest June on record.
While driving to and from the office, or with your family on the weekends, your vehicle’s air conditioning is a luxury many take for granted. Ford Motor Company is helping find ways to make your A/C run more efficiently, and offering tips to keep you cool no matter where your vehicle takes you this summer.
Did you know?
Many newer Ford vehicles have a feature called a variable displacement compressor that helps the air conditioning run more efficiently and consistently. The system has the ability to control the amount of cooling and use only the amount required for the conditions which results in less load on the engine and a reduction in the overall impact on the environment, making Ford A/C units powerful, efficient and smart.
- Air conditioning systems are powerful. Most drivers expect their vehicle’s interior to reach a reasonably comfortable temperature within 15 minutes. On a sunny 95-degree day, that interior may be upward of 140 degrees. In order to cool a vehicle down to a comfortable level, most vehicle air conditioning systems have cooling capacity equal to a small home’s air conditioning.
- Today’s air conditioning systems are efficient. Most Ford vehicles use a limited reheat strategy to create the most comfortable environment. Previous systems cooled all of the processed air to just above freezing, then reheated the air to the desired temperature. The newer system cools the air down to just below the desired temperature, then reheats it slightly. This reduces the amount of energy required to operate the system and results in better fuel efficiency.
- The air conditioner in your new Ford vehicle is smart. When operating in auto mode, the system uses sensors to determine the optimal operational requirements of the system to best maintain the comfort level in your vehicle. An example of this is that the system has a sensor that can tell where the sun is shining strongest on your car, and adjusts output temperature accordingly. If the sun is shining on the front passenger-side window, cool air output is stronger on that side of the vehicle than on the driver’s side to offset the added heat and keep a consistent level of comfort.
Tips to remember on your daily commute:
“We know Ford owners want to stay cool on their summer travels, not only when they first get in their vehicle, but throughout their trip,” said Larry Karas, Ford climate control supervisor. “Here are a few simple tips and tricks for drivers to keep in mind to ensure their vehicle’s air conditioning is running efficiently and keeping all passengers comfortable.”
- When you first enter a hot vehicle, lower the windows completely for a few minutes to push out hot air.
- Use the max A/C button to quickly cool down the vehicle.
- If you get too cold, don’t switch the unit on and off; adjust the temperature or fan speed to help keep the temperature consistent.
- Too cold in the front, but still not cool enough in the back seat? Instead of shutting the A/C vents in the front, redirect them to the ceiling or sides of the vehicle to keep air flowing to the rear.
- If it isn’t too hot, when driving around town turn off the A/C and roll down your windows instead.
- Parking in the shade whenever possible or using a reflective windshield shade can dramatically reduce heat buildup in your parked vehicle. Cabin temperature at startup will be much lower, and temperature comfort will be achieved much sooner on your drive.
- If your vehicle is equipped with a moonroof or large panoramic roof, always close the roof shade to reduce heat buildup in your parked vehicle.
- If your vehicle is equipped with a remote start system, be sure to set the climate control system up for automatic operation so you can start the cool-down process before entering the vehicle.
- If you live in a predominately hot weather state, choosing a lighter exterior color and/or a lighter interior color will reduce heat buildup in your parked vehicle.
Don’t delay in thinking about the maintenance of your vehicle’s air conditioning unit. Before you hit the road:
- Follow your car’s periodic maintenance schedule for when the cabin air filter should be replaced. Never just remove the filter – always replace it.
- If your vehicle isn’t getting as cool as usual, or if the cooling is inconsistent, take it to your Ford dealer right away.
- After several years in service, it is entirely possible some refrigerant may escape from the A/C system in your car, resulting in the system not working as well as it once did. The only way to restore the system back to peak operating condition is to have the remaining refrigerant removed and a proper quantity of refrigerant added. It is best to have this work done at a certified dealership that uses only original replacement parts and supplies for your vehicle.