10 Tips on How to Use Air-conditioning Properly

10 Tips on How to Use Air-conditioning Properly

You recently had the chance to discover the challenges that go into developing the ventilation system of any new ŠKODA. This time, we want to share some practical tips and correct common mistakes.


Whether you have manual or automatic air-conditioning in your car, or if you are considering buying a new model, there is important information about air-conditioning that you need to know. This will let you make the most of an accessory that is now taken for granted in virtually every ŠKODA model, but is still a complicated piece of technology with a wide range of applications. Jan Hrnčíř, air-conditioning development coordinator, sums up the role played by air-conditioning, its benefits, and tips on how to use it properly.

Jan Hrnčíř
air-conditioning development coordinator



1. Enjoy the benefits of automatic air-conditioning to the full

Automatic air-conditioning employs a range of sensors to ensure constant thermal comfort, whether the driver is alone or the whole family is in the car, travelling in sweltering weather to get to the seaside or in the freezing winter to get to the ski slopes. Simply press the Auto button and set the temperature, ideally around 22 °C. Even if the AC sign is lit up, this does not mean that the air-conditioning is delivering all it is capable of. Modern systems regulate the operation of the compressor to reflect current conditions. In doing so, they draw on a solar sensor that monitors not only the intensity, but also the direction, of the sun’s rays.

One of the key advantages of automatic air-conditioning is safety. If the windows start fogging up and you are using manual air-conditioning, you need to increase the fan speed to make sure you have a good view of the road. But this increases the noise level emitted by the fan and the airflow. An automatic system prevents fogging before it even starts, and increasing the fan speed is a last resort. “Without no need for the driver intervene, for example, it increases the amount of air flowing on to the windscreen or increases the temperature and turns the climate control on, helping to dry the air for as long as necessary,” explains Jan Hrnčíř.


2. Three-zone climate control is not a luxury

We all perceive warmth and cold in slightly different ways, and we all have our own personal preferences – some people can’t stand a draught, while others want to be fanned with cold air in the summer. This can be achieved by adjusting the direction of the air. Current two- and three-zone systems take into account the fact that while the sun is shining on one side, those on the other side are left in the shade, so the airflow temperature on the left and right is automatically adjusted to accommodate this. Three-zone climate control makes sense in this age of large windscreens.


3. Why doesn’t the temperature displayed match the actual air temperature?

Because the chosen temperature is “sensory” and is affected by many factors. Therefore, the air flowing from the vents is much warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The modern Climatronic system in ŠKODAs not only adjusts the temperature, but also the direction of the air. The occupants can also adjust the perceived temperature in the range between 18 °C and 28 °C between the driver, the front passenger, and the rear seats.



4. The effect of air-conditioning on consumption

Current piston compressors can automatically regulate their power according to information from a range of sensors, from almost zero to maximum capacity. As a result, the air-conditioning has little impact on consumption. This is important information for thrifty users and for sensitive people who, after experiencing older devices, are worried that they will catch cold or that their mucous membranes will dry out. Today’s systems are much gentler on the senses.


5. Air-conditioning and health

As modern automatic air-conditioning systems use only the necessary amount of cooling capacity, any negative health impacts come so much from the equipment itself as from its misuse. In fact, when it’s hot outside, cooling in the car is beneficial. It has been proven that the driver is more concentrated and, for instance, there is no risk that the kids will become too hot if you get stuck in a tailback. Modern cabin filters combined with the possibility of using air recirculation as often as possible with the climate control make for a cleaner environment in the car, helping not only allergy sufferers, but everyone in, for example, polluted cities. Allergy sufferers and susceptible people also benefit from the new Climatronic Air Care system, which uses a special cabin filter and air quality sensor to filter out pollen and activate air recirculation if the air is heavily polluted and, for instance, to block out overpowering screenwash smells.

“If you want to be sure you’re making the most beneficial use of the air-conditioning, your best bet is to keep to a temperature of around 22 °C. When it’s really hot, perhaps go for an even higher temperature so that there are no shocks to the body caused by the big difference in temperature when you get out of the car,” recommends Jan Hrnčíř.


6. Air-conditioning is also beneficial in winter

As air-conditioning dries the air, it can also be useful in the winter, when you bring a lot of snow on your clothes and shoes into the interior. Most users don’t think of turning on the air-conditioning in this situation, especially when they need to heat up, but in automatic mode there is a humidity sensor that instantly recognises the need to dry the air.


7. When to use the air recirculation button

Very few people know that, with automatic Climatronic air-conditioning, the air recirculation is switched on for most of the year. The advantage of this is the cabin air re-filtering, because the air passes through a cabin filter even when recirculation mode is on. When the air recirculation is turned on manually (by pressing the button), Climatronic also runs the air-conditioning compressor to prevent the windows from misting up. If there is a risk of fogging, the automatic recirculation system is switched off. If drivers insist on closing the air recirculation and taking the risk that the windows will fog up, they need to press the recirculation button twice.



8. Use quality filters

ŠKODA offers several types of cabin filters. The top of the range includes both activated carbon – to absorb fine impurities and pollutants – and antibacterial treatment. “I believe that today we offer our customers the best possible solution in terms of quality, filtering ability and price,” says Jan Hrnčíř.


9. Open the vents fully and adjust the air direction

Instead of closing individual vents, it is better to adjust the airflow so that the interior is evenly ventilated. Jan Hrnčíř recommends directing the outer vents towards the window rather than the passengers.

“In modern cars, the windscreen doesn’t get misted up as this is monitored by the humidity sensor. However, users often forget that drivers also need a good view out of the side windows. In the rain, in the winter or in the manual air-conditioning mode, these windows can easily fog up, resulting in poorer visibility and safety. When the air flows correctly between the windows and the car’s occupants, this reduces the risk of condensation, and is more effective at insulating passengers


10. Don’t neglect basic care

In addition to regular servicing, which includes inspecting all components, making sure the system is not leaking, and refilling or replacing the coolant, it is also important to remember regular disinfection and the replacement of the cabin filter. The perfect time for this is spring or summer, because after driving around in snow and rain all winter, smelly mould may appear in the system. A new filter may also be more resistant to seasonal pollen and it pays to check that the air-conditioning is working properly before the summer.

You can stop mould from forming in the summer by manually shutting off the air-conditioning shortly before reaching your destination so that the airflow clears the system of humidity. Alternatively, leave the air-conditioning on automatic mode all year round, even in winter.