Watch Out For Bacteria In Your Car A/C System

Because of the dark and moisture-rich environment, bacteria in car A/C can become a problem. Below are some common signs of bacterial growth and what you can do to remove bacteria from your car A/C.

Unpleasant Odor

This is probably the first and most obnoxious sign that something is wrong. The smell is both off-putting and can be a source of embarrassment if you are carpooling. It results from airflow which passes through the evaporator that picks up bacterial particles prior to entering your car’s cabin via the A/C vents. Whenever the A/C is turned on, the unpleasant smell will begin circulating.

A Suffocating Sensation

Aside from the bad smell, both you and other passengers may find it difficult to breathe. This suffocating sensation is the result of mold growth within your air conditioning unit. Mold is notorious for causing breathing issues, particularly for pregnant women and those that already have allergies or asthma.

The Air Blowing from The Vents is No Longer Cold

If you notice that the air blowing out of the vents is not as cold as it should be, it might mean that the air conditioning is low on refrigerant, or it could be that your air filter has become dirty and needs to be cleaned. If dirt is allowed to accumulate within an air filter, this can result in mold particularly if moisture is present. Once the filter becomes saturated or obstructed, it will diminish the cold air that you receive from the vents.

How to Remove Bacteria from Your Vehicle’s Air Conditioning

There are a number of things you’ll want to do to remove bacteria from your vehicle’s A/C system, which include:

  • Apply antibacterial solution: There are products on the market which are designed to eradicate any bacteria which is present in your car. The solution will need to sit for about thirty to sixty minutes after application and you should avoid sitting in or driving the vehicle while the solution does its work.
  • Clean or change your air filter: You’ll want to start by attempting to clean your air filter, but if that doesn’t work the filter should be completely replaced. Consider having a filter change every two years.
  • Cleanse the vents: In addition to the air filter, the vents themselves should be cleaned. This can be accomplished with an unused cloth that has been soaked in vinegar, and baking soda can also be used as an alternative. Wipe the vents thoroughly to remove all the bacteria and grime.

What Happens If You Don’t Remove The Bacteria?

If you choose to ignore the problem, you can expect it to worsen. You might experience drowsiness or headaches, a runny or stuffy nose, and various allergic reactions like coughing or sneezing. However, a more serious issue is bacterial infections which can manifest themselves with fever, itchy skin, and even dire respiratory issues like pneumonia. As you can see, bacteria growth within your vehicle’s A/C system is not something that should be taken lightly.