How is it possible that using your air conditioner year round can actually be good for your car? It is a common misconception that air conditioning systems are strictly for cooling air in the summer (even though that is a great luxury) but in fact, it is almost more important to use your cars air conditioning system during the cold and rainy seasons. How can this be?
The A/C “conditions” the air, it does not just cool it.
Simply put, an air conditioner does not just cool the air, it “conditions” it, which results in dry air coming out of your vents and defroster. During the rainy season the outside air is very cold, and combining your warm breath with your wet clothes and damp shoes, the interior of your car gets very humid and the windows get covered in condensation. If the goal of your defroster is to defog your windows it stands to reason that the air coming out of the vents should be as dry as possible. Turn the heater on to its warmest setting and hit the A/C button and you will be astonished at how fast your windows clear up. Acting as a sort of dehumidifier, the A/C system will make your car’s interior much more comfortable during the rainy season.
Your A/C system: Use it or lose it.
Another piece of conventional wisdom is that if you want to keep your Air Conditioning system running for the life of your car it is best to save it for the hottest days when you really need it. In fact the opposite is true! Your car’s A/C system is filled with parts that are meant to move. If you don’t use it for a few months, parts like the compressor can seize. This is because it is full of refrigerant and oils that need to be circulated to keep all of its internals lubricated.
Another side benefit to regular use of the A/C is that it is a great place for bacteria and mould to build up when it is sitting idle. By leaving the interior of your car moist and humid and your A/C not circulating for months, spores and mould will begin to build up, so frequent use can prevent this from happening.
Now, go throw on that A/C when you warm up the car next, you will be very glad you did!